As you may have read in recent press, the Government amended the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 from Saturday 29th August 2020 a landlord must provide at least six months’ notice prior to seeking possession of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy through the courts including section 21 evictions and rent arrears under six months. The six month notice period supersedes any break clauses in a tenancy agreement.
Shorter notice periods will apply to certain cases where the landlord wants to evict the tenant because of rent arrears of six months or more, anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse or fraud.
Notices served on and before 28th August are not affected by these changes, and must give at least three months’ notice.
The courts are due to open again to hear cases on 20th September 2020 and the Government has indicated that claims relating to very high rent arrears, antisocial behaviour and domestic violence will be prioritised.
However, in addition new court rules have been agreed which will come into force on 20th September 2020 meaning landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings if this information is not provided.
The changes to the legislation have been put in place until 31st March 2021 and if there is no further legislation, the hope is that the notice period will revert back to two months in April 2021 but at present it is impossible to rule out further changes.
Should you require further information please contact your local Head of Lettings
who will be happy to discuss this with you.