The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (Moratorium Debt) (Consequential Amendment) (England) Regulations 2021 have been published which create a new prescribed section 8 notice for England.
The changes of note incorporate information about the breathing space regulations which commence on 4 May 2021.
As the debt breathing space regulations apply to both England and Wales, we expect a new section 8 notice for Wales too.
The new section 8 notice is clearly intended to be a permanent replacement because it contains pre-COVID notice periods.
When the temporary Coronavirus Act changes are made to the new notice (which they have to be because they apply at this time), the notice makes no sense and newly added bullet points are removed! For analysis of the mess, see this NearlyLegal article.
We hope the Coronavirus Act will have an amendment in the next day or two which will fix the major problems. Without a fix, it’s unclear whether we should just publish the new form (with the wrong notice periods) or, incorporate Coronavirus Act (which removes crucial new parts).
The debt breathing space regulations allow a person to consult a debt advisor and the debt advisor can start a breathing space.
The starting of a breathing space means no action can be taken during the period of the breathing space including serving a section 8 notice on rent arrears grounds nor issuing proceedings (even if a section 8 has already been served).
The possession wizard is live with new section 8 added. At the time of writing, no new legislation has been published so the notice as drafted has been added despite not making sense!