Notices return to pre-covid levels
Well, its official. Life has returned to normal. The kids are back at school and there was the hint of an Indian Summer at the beginning of this week (now replaced by the normal British grey skies).
If further evidence was required, the government have announced that notice to be given by landlords to tenants is to return to pre-covid levels. Can anyone even remember what these were?
Browsing through the amendment regulations yesterday was not a particularly arduous task as they are comparatively short. They amend Schedule 29 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 which was the beginning of extended notice periods. In plain language, from the 1st October 2021 where you serve your tenant a notice under Section 21 (non-fault, I just need my property back), the period of notice will be two months.
The Section 8 notice periods will also revert to “normal” and whilst each ground has a different amount of time, the most commonly used ground 8 for rent arrears will be 2 weeks notice where more than two months rent is owed.
The caveat to these amendments is that until the end of March 2022 they can be reviewed and changed should the country find itself back in the grips of the pandemic. Fingers crossed for us all that this does not happen.
Also of worthy note is that the prescribed forms you use are also changing, so it is critically important that from the 1st October you use the correct one. Unusually the forms have actually been made shorter and more user friendly. Perhaps this is to help landlords and tenants as well as the Courts.
Whilst in the industry we have an unhealthy interest in section notices, they are actually not that widely used. If you are a tenant who pays their rent in full and on time, lives in a property as if it were their own, why would your landlord want to lose you as a tenant?
Likewise, there is no benefit to a landlord to keep chopping and changing tenants. So whilst the press and pressure groups would have you believe that landlords evict tenants on a daily basis for spurious reasons, the reality is that the vast majority of landlords and tenants enjoy a mutually respectful relationship.
That said, it is nice to see the playing field level again. Not least because it suggests that we are learning to live the new normal.
If you are in need of any assistance around serving a notice, please do contact us, we’d be happy to help.
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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