In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the UK Government introduced the Coronavirus Act 2020 which, as well as halting evictions, increased the notice periods for both Section 8 and Section 21 Notices, with exemptions applying for the most serious cases.
However, the Government has recently confirmed that the notice periods for both Section 8 and 21 Notices will return to pre-COVID lengths.
The changes apply to England only and to assured shorthold tenancy agreements.
Although the changes will come as positive news for landlords, it should be noted that the Government has extended the period in which they can once again update the notice periods (more likely to be an increase) until the 25 March 2022.
The statutory instrument passing the legislation is expected to come into force shortly and will be followed by updated landlord, tenant and local authority renting and court guidance ahead of the 1 October 2021. In addition, the prescribed forms have also been updated to reflect the return to pre-COVID lengths and can be found in the schedule 2 of the statutory instrument.
A short summary of the current notice periods and upcoming changes can be found below:
|Notice||Current Notice Periods||Notice Periods from 1 October 2021|
|Section 21 Notice (From 6a)||4 months||2 months|
|Section 8 Notice – grounds 8, 10 & 11 – where arrears exceed the equivalent of 4 months' rent||4 weeks||2 weeks|
|Section 8 Notice - grounds 8, 10 & 11 – where arrears are less than the equivalent of 4 months' rent||2 months||2 weeks|
There are of course several other more specific grounds that Landlords may rely on in a Section 8 Notice which will also return to the relevant Pre-COVID notice periods.
If you need advice in relation to possession proceedings, do not hesitate to contact our team of specialist property litigation lawyers.
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