We have previously reported that the Government was proposing to extend notice periods for landlords to serve notices for residential tenancies due to the impact of Covid-19.
There is now a set of regulations which amend the Coronavirus Act 2020 in respect of notice periods. The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies – Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on 29th August 2020.
Schedule 29 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 has been amended. This sets out the different notice periods when serving both Section 8 and Section 21 notices. Originally, under the Coronavirus Act, the notice period for both Section 8 and Section 21 notices was extended to 3 months.
This has now changed as follows:
- Section 21 notices now need to be for 6 months.
- Where a Section 8 notice is served and a landlord is relying on antisocial behaviour (both discretionary and mandatory ground) the notice period is as per Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.
- For rent arrears, if a landlord is relying on a Section 8 notice based on a mandatory ground namely substantial rental arrears and there is more than 6 months rent payable then the notice period is 4 weeks.
- For most other grounds under Schedule 2 to Housing Act 1988 the time frame for the notice has been extended to 6 months – save for some exceptions. This includes for rental arrears where there is less than 6 months owing
These new regulations are in effect until 31st March 2021.
The Government has explained that the rationale behind these amendments is to continue to help renters in these unprecedented times. The stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20th September which means that tenants have not been able to be legally evicted from properties for 6 months due to the pandemic.
Notices served on or before 28th August are not affected by these changes and must comply with the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
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