?In a further blow to the PRS, the ban on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September and landlords must now provide tenants with at least 6 months’ notice period prior to seeking possession through the courts in most cases.
Legislation has been introduced, meaning landlords must now give tenants 6 months’ notice before they can evict until March 2021, except in the most serious of cases, for which several concessions have been made.
The ban on possession proceedings means that landlords have not been able to evict tenants for six months.
The package of support for renters includes the extension of notice periods and the extension to the stay on possession proceedings. For the most egregious cases, notice periods have returned to their pre-coronavirus levels, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.
These changes mean that from 29 August, landlords must provide at least 6 months’ notice period prior to seeking possession through the courts in most cases, including?section 21 evictions and rent arrears under 6 months.
Notices served on and before 28 August are not affected by these changes, and must be at least 3 months.
Exceptions to the six months’ notice rule include:
- Landlords with tenants involved in anti-social behaviour – 4 weeks’ notice
- Landlords with tenants involved in domestic violence – 2 weeks’ notice
- Rent arrears over six months – 4 weeks
- Tenancies gained through fraud – 2 weeks
- Breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (now 3 months’ notice)
In addition, new court rules have been agreed, which will come into force on 20 September meaning landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.