• Published: 6th Nov 20
  • Category: News

As I type, it is a glorious late autumn morning with a halo of sunshine beginning to appear through the mist and you could quite easily be forgiven for thinking that all was well with the world.  But, of course, since our last post, we have been through a cycle of local restrictions and have now just entered Lockdown 2.0.

This has created a fury of activity in Whitehall and I am beginning to feel a little sorry for those Civil Servants that having no sooner completed one set of guidelines, are having to rip them up, and start again. The most recent arrived in my inbox this morning and provide advice for landlords and tenants for the current restrictions. In a nutshell not much has changed however it may be useful to have a recap on where we are.

Section Notices

These remain the same since the last changes at the end of August, and until the 31st March 2021, Section 21 (non fault) notices must carry a minimum of six months notice. Section 8 notice periods vary depending on which ground you are using, although the majority also carry six months notice periods.

Possession Hearings

Unlike in the first lockdown, Courts will this time remain open for possession hearings and the most extreme of cases will be given precedence. This would include anti social behaviour and serious rent arrears to name a couple. The Government have announced though, that warrants for possession will be suspended during the restrictions and until the 11th January 2021, except in the most “egregious” of circumstances. This will provide some comfort to tenants that they will not be evicted over the Christmas period.

Moving Home

The latest Health Protection regulations allow the housing market to stay open and this means people can still view properties and move home, landlords can still ready their property for a new tenant and tradespeople can still attend to maintenance issues. It continues to be a requirement to follow the guidelines for working safely and this includes wearing face coverings when viewing property or visiting Letting Agents offices.

Safety Obligations

Neither the Coronavirus Act or the Health Protection Regulations amend or remove the landlords duty to carry out their statutory obligations. This includes Gas Safety Checks, Electrical Condition Reports or urgent repairs, so as a landlord you should ensure these are carried out when they fall due.

The government guidance whilst lengthy, is packed with useful information for most situations and is well worth a read. Additionally the following links provide more information:

Guidance on moving home

Guidance for landlords and tenants

Guidance for possession action

Guidance on working safely 

If you are need of some advice we would be happy to assist so please do get in touch.

Let’s hope these latest restrictions provides us with the reduction in cases so that we can have some normal semblance of Christmas. Stay safe everyone.

Please note the date this article was published as the law may have changed since it was posted. You should always seek independent legal advice if you are intending to rely on any of the contents.

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