Extended Notice Periods – What do Landlords Need to Know?
In recent years the law on possession has tightened for UK landlords and the Covid-19 pandemic has brought further challenges to letting your property.
The ban on evictions may end on 21 September 2020, but landlords must contend with an extended 6 months’ notice period on Section 21 and Section 8 Notices until the end of March 2021.
A landlord can legally evict tenants who have an assured shorthold tenancy by giving:
Section 8 Notice if the tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy
Section 21 Notice after a fixed term tenancy ends – if there’s a written contract, or during a tenancy with no fixed end date
What has the Government announced?
“The stay on possession claims ends on 21 September, however Section 21 and Section 8 Notices will now generally be subject to an extended 6 months’ notice period until 31 March 2021.
In practical terms, this means tenants will not have to leave for at least half a year after a notice has been given.”
What does this mean for landlords?
“If a landlord has a tenant in 2 months’ rent arrears, the minimum notice they can give is 6 months. If the tenant does not leave and the landlord has to issue a possession claim they will likely already be 7 or 8 months’ rent down before a claim can be issued.
Based on the length of pre-COVID claims a landlord will likely be around 12 – 14 months’ rent down before they regain possession of their property, assuming that the tenant complies with the order, or the Court Bailiffs will enforce the order and evict.
The Court may order that the tenant pay the rent arrears and the landlord’s legal costs but if the tenant has not paid the rent due whilst in the property then it is unlikely that they will be able to pay when they have left.”
I am a landlord and my tenant is behind on rent payments, what are my options?
“If you haven’t done so already you may wish to make an arrangement with your tenant for a payment holiday or to reduce the rent. You might even consider a mortgage payment holiday if you are struggling to meet your mortgage repayments.
If you wish to proceed with an eviction and have not already given notice to your tenant in your property, you will have to give at least six months’ notice.”
At Ellis-Fermor & Negus our aim is to resolve your matter as swiftly as possible and in a pragmatic, proportionate and cost-effective manner. If you need legal advice about giving a tenant notice, get in touch with one of our dispute resolution solicitors today.
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