Changes have been made to evictions legislation today that mean letting agents will now have to ensure their paperwork is up to date or risk having evictions rejected by courts.
From Tuesday (May 4th) onwards Section 8 eviction notices must include details of the government’s ‘breathing space’ debt scheme within the paperwork to be compliant.
Announced last year, the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space) gives tenants in problem debt the right to legal protections from their creditors for up to 60 days.
These regulations come into force on Tuesday, which is why the ministry of housing has inserted an amendment into the relevant legislation.
“Anyone who serves a notice using the incorrect template runs the risk of having their case thrown out on a technicality,” says Tim Frome of Landlord Action.
“With six-month notice periods in place at the moment this could be a very expensive mistake.
“This further highlights why landlords should use a Solicitors Regulation Authority regulated and authorised law firm such as Landlord Action to serve possession notices.”
Mike Morgan, Legal Division Manager at HF Assist, adds: “We have taken a number of calls on our HF Assist phone lines about the requirements set out in the Debt Respite Scheme regulations.
“The basic position is that if a tenant has a qualifying debt, such as rent arrears, they can see an FCA or local authority authorised debt advisor and apply for a debt moratorium.
“This gives them an eight-week breathing space from being chased for the amount owed while they work with the debt adviser to restructure their finances to pay their debts. The tenant should still pay their rent during this period.”
Read more about evictions.