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COVID-19 and changes to notice periods for possession

View profile for Radhika Shah
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Landlords are required to give tenants notice to end the tenancy. The notice must set out the grounds the landlord is seeking possession and the date that the notice period expires. The notice period is different depending on the type of tenancy and reason the landlord wants to evict the tenant.

The Government, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has introduced several changes to notice periods since 26th March 2020.

Please not, this article does not cover notice periods required before 26th March 2020.

 

New notice requirements

Between 26th March 2020 and 28th August 2020, landlords were required to give 3 months’ notice for any type of tenancy.

 

From 29th August 2020 to 31st March 2021 the notice periods are:

Assured tenancies and secure tenancies

For rent arrears of less than 6 months when the notice is served, the landlord must give the tenant 6 months’ notice.

For rent arrears of more than 6 months when the notice is served, the landlord must give 4 weeks’ notice.

For the anti-social behaviour mandatory ground, the landlord must give 28 days’ notice (if periodic tenancy) or 1 month’s notice (if the tenancy is still in the fixed term).

For the anti-social behaviour discretionary ground, the landlord can start court proceedings immediately after the notice is given to the tenant.

Private rented sector tenancies

A ‘section 21’ notice does not require any reason for the landlord wanting to take possession. The landlord must give the tenant 6 months’ notice. The landlord has 10 months in which to start court proceedings once the notice is given to the tenant.

 

There are different notice periods for other grounds of possession and they have not all been set out here.  

 

How can we help?

The new rules are complicated and TV Edwards has a team of solicitors with expertise in bringing and defending possession claims.

If you are dealing with a possession claim, either bringing or defending one, you should obtain specialist legal advice as soon as possible.

We work under legal aid for occupiers who are at risk of losing their homes and who meet the financial eligibility criteria. We offer reasonable fees where you are not eligible for legal aid.

If you are a tenant or occupier and you receive a notice seeking possession from your landlord, then please contact us on 0203 440 8100 or email a_housingreferrals@tvedwards.com to see if we can assist.

If you are a landlord seeking advice on regaining possession of your property we can offer fixed fees or reasonable hourly rates for advice and representation. Please contact us on 020 3440 8100 or email A_LandLordServicesReferrals@tvedwards.com with your enquiry.