We at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors have written on this topic a number of times about the various temporary changes that have come in since the start of the Pandemic to protect renters against eviction and then to protect the Courts against an unmanageable influx of possession cases.
Length of notice periods
One such set of changes has concerned the length of notice periods that must be given to tenants. This was initially set at 3 months and then extended to 6 except in specific and the most serious cases (see blog Eviction bans and notice period extensions). In June 2021 the notice periods were reduced to 4 months until the end of September (see blog Eviction Ban ended on 31 May 2021).
This means that all notice periods will now revert to those that were in place prior to March 2020 meaning that from 1 October 2021 those with assured or secure tenancies can, in most cases, expect 2-4 weeks’ notice depending on the reason possession is being sought and those with assured shorthold tenancies must be given 2 months’ notice.
This “return to normal” is in line with the Government’s gradual reducing of the various restrictions imposed over the last 18 months. It remains to be seen whether the roadmap out of Covid can or should continue its forward trajectory. With 36,722 new infections and 150 deaths recorded yesterday it is hard not to wonder whether we may be facing a new round of restrictions before the end of the year and whether we should be again putting tenants at greater risk of losing their home at such a time of uncertainty. This is a particular concern with regard to tenants in the private rented sector who, despite promises to the contrary, still face no-fault evictions through the s.21 process. In our blog Eviction Extension Alert! we argued that this would be an ideal time for the Government to fulfil their pledge to abolish no fault evictions via the Renters Reform Bill. This has still not happened although there are promises to publish a White Paper on this issue in the autumn – we are watching this space with interest.
In the meantime renters should note the further changes to notice periods and seek legal advice wherever a notice is served. There are still plenty of opportunities to mount a defence against a claim for possession, even if brought under s.21, and Hodge Jones & Allen are ready to assist where possible.
If you are facing eviction and need urgent legal assistance, contact our housing experts today 0808 252 5231 or request a call back online.