As England takes further steps towards easing lockdown and returning to pre-Covid normality, residential landlords can now provide shorter notice periods to tenants when seeking possession of their property. From 1st June 2021, legislation implemented by the Coronavirus Act 2020 will ease, not only shortening notice periods but also allowing bailiffs to send out eviction notices.
What are the new notice periods for eviction in England?
From 1 June 2021 landlords can now give 4 months’ notice for evictions, even where the tenant has less than 4 months’ rent arrears. For more serious cases this is reduced to 2-4 weeks’ notice. In cases of severe rent arrears (where the tenant owes 4 or more months’ rent) the eviction notice period is now 4 weeks. Landlords who wish to gain possession of their property following the death of their tenant may now give 2 months’ notice and if they wish to evict because of a breach of immigration rules must give 2 weeks’ notice.
Can I begin possession proceedings through the courts?
The stay on possession proceedings ended in September 2020 enabling landlords to progress claims through the courts. However, bailiffs were not allowed to send out eviction notices. From 1 June 2021, bailiffs can now send out eviction notices and evictions are expected to begin in mid-June in line with the 14 days’ notice included within any notice.
Is there anything that could impede a potential eviction?
While bailiffs are now allowed to evict tenants and take possession of property, they cannot carry out an eviction if anyone in the household has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.
How long will the current legislation last for?
The answer is “not long”. Notice periods for rent arrears are timetabled to be reduced to 2 weeks’ notice on 1 August 2021. It is anticipate that this is due to the continued reopening of the country and the end of the government’s furlough scheme.
For many landlords, the time since March 2020 may have been a particularly frustrating period and there will obviously be a feeling of urgency to any evictions relating to rent arrears. With that in mind, it is vital that if you are seeking to evict tenants that you seek expert legal advice right from the get-go. Jarmans Solicitors have an excellent team who are we placed to help and advise you on any tenancy and eviction issues. Contact us to book an appointment.