Landlords: yet more new changes to affect your possession claims
The ban was due to end on 23 August 2020 but the new extension now means that landlords will be prohibited from starting possession proceedings until at least 20 September 2020.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick extended the ban on Friday 21 August 2020. He also confirmed landlords are required to give tenants six months' notice in all cases except those cases involving domestic violence or anti social behaviour. The extended six month notice period will be in place until at least 31 March 2021.
With concerns of a second wave rising Jenrick’s plans are designed to protect tenants from the impact of Covid-19 during the winter months.
The current notice period required under the Coronavirus Act 2020 is three months. Jenrick suggests extending notice periods under both Section 21 and Section 8 to six months. This extension will not apply where a tenant has been involved in domestic violence, anti social behaviour or another crime (i.e Ground 7A, Schedule 2). In Ground 7A cases the normal statutory notice periods will apply, depending on which conditions of Ground 7A are to be relied upon.
When possession proceedings are able to commence again, courts will undoubtedly be inundated. The government has confirmed eviction hearings involving domestic violence, anti social behaviour or other crimes will be prioritised. Landlords who have not received rental payments for a year will also be put to the top of the list to avoid extreme financial hardship.
For now, the notice period remains three months under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and will stay this way until further legislation is introduced. We hope the government will provide clarity soon and we will update you in due course.