The government has announced new notice periods and forms of notice from 1 June 2021. Also, further changes from 1 August respecting notice periods to be given by landlords in England.
There will be a brand new section 21 (form 6A) and section 8 (form 3) which must be used from 1 June 2021.
The new section 8 notice comes less than two weeks after a new one has just been published but was a considerable mess and the one published on MHCLG website may be unlawful according to NearlyLegal blog.
Assuming all goes to plan, all notice periods will revert to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October 2021.
Subject to the public health advice and progress with the Roadmap, notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October.
The length of time to act upon a section 21 notice will be reduced from 10 months to 8 months for notices served on or after 1 June.
Also in the announcement, the suspension of bailiffs enforcing possession orders will end on 31 May 2021.
The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, will end on 31 May. Bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.
Revised Notice Periods
The announcement confirms that the requirement of 6 months notice will be reduced to 4 months:
From 1 June, notice periods that are currently 6 months will reduce to at least 4 months. Notice periods for the most serious cases that present the most strain on landlords will remain lower:
- anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)
- domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
- false statement (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
- 4 months’ or more accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)
- breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (2 weeks’ notice)
- death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)
The legislation making the changes is The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021.
These regulations do not apply to any notice given or served before 1 June 2021.
From 1 August 2021, where the tenant has less than 4 months rent arrears, the notice period will be further reduced to 2 months notice. Where the tenant is 4 months or more in arrears, it remains at 4 weeks notice required.
Notice periods for cases where there is less than 4 months’ of unpaid rent, will reduce again to 2 months’ notice from 1 August. This is to support both landlords and tenants and responds to the greater difference between COVID and pre COVID notice periods for rent arrears.
New Section 8 and 21 Notice
New forms 3 and 6A (section 8 and section 21 notices) are created by The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) and Suspension (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021.
Section 8 Notice
The mess that was created by the new notice just issued a couple of weeks ago will be cleared up.
Because the length of notice will be reduced by two months from June, all subscribers should not serve the current section 8 notice with immediate effect until 1 June 2021 at the earliest. This will be beneficial in any event because almost a month in time will be saved by waiting anyway.
The new notice incorporates the new breathing space regulations and also the new notice periods depending on the particular ground chosen.
Section 21 Notice
At first glance, the section 21 notice only has minor changes and in particular references the new 4 months notice period.
Like the section 8, there’s no benefit in landlords serving section 21 from this point on until the new one is available from 1 June.
Both notices will be available from the possession wizard from 1 June 2021.
More information is available on the Coronavirus Hub which we keep up to date as best we can.