Notice periods to evict tenants in England to revert to pre-pandemic levels
The Government has on the 8 September laid before Parliament, updated Regulations in respect of residential tenancies. The most important change brought in by the Regulations is that the notice period that a residential landlord must give to seek possession of their property from tenants has reverted to the same period as before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Where a landlord wants to give notice under S21 of the Housing Act 1988, prior to 26 March 2020 at least 2 months’ notice had to be given. During the pandemic, this initially increased to 3 months, then 6 months, and was most recently reduced to 4 months. As of 1st October 2021, if a landlord gives notice under Section 21 the notice period reverts to 2 months.
Where a landlord is giving notice under Section 8 of the Housing Act, relying on a specified ground such as the tenant’s failure to pay rent, different notice periods will apply depending on the reason. As with S21 notices, these periods all increased during the pandemic, however, if the landlord serves an S8 notice on or after 1 October, then the notice period will again revert to the same period as before the pandemic.
This offers good news for landlords who have been extremely restricted during the pandemic where they wanted to remove tenants but could not do so without giving extended periods of notice. However, it should be noted that under the Regulations the Government has retained its emergency powers to impose longer notice periods until 25 March 2022. Scope remains for the notice periods to be increased again should the virus begin to spread causing restrictions to be reintroduced.
Landlords should also be aware that the updated Regulations only apply in England, so if their property is in Wales then different notice periods may apply.
If you have any questions about the notice periods to be given to tenants or if you are seeking possession from a tenant and have questions about any of the formalities to be followed to ensure that you can lawfully seek possession, please contact our specialist Property Dispute Resolution department for more information Simon Pressdee or Tracey Ashford.