CORONAVIRUS ACT 2020 - PARTIAL RELAXATION NOTICE PERIOD MEASURES FOR LANDLORDS & LETTING AGENTS

From the 1st of June 2021, the Government has announced a partial relaxation of the COVID-19 measures with the Section 8 and Section 21 notice period requirement set at 4 months until at least the end of September 2021, as opposed to reducing back to the pre-COVID-19 levels of 2 months.

Landlords will still be able to give shorter notice periods in certain situations, e.g., for rent arrears with at least 4 months’ rent unpaid, only 4 weeks’ notice will be given.

In Wales, the current eviction ban will remain until the 30th of June 2021 with no exemptions and the requirement to give 6 months’ notice before starting an eviction remains until the end of June 2021.

Bailiffs will also restart on the 1st of June 2021, however, with more than 12 months of back-logged court cases, we see no immediate impact from the lifting of the eviction ban. In addition, if a tenant shows signs of COVID-19 symptoms, there is no requirement to provide medical evidence, and the Bailiffs cannot attend the property to evict.

Whilst the notice period reduction from 6 months to 4 months is an improvement, it remains twice as long as the pre-COVID levels and will continue to delay eviction times further. This will be reviewed again in October, at which point the Renter Reform Bill may become law, which will ban Section 21 notices (accelerated possession proceedings), causing a further obstruction to possession actions.

We are, however, encouraged that the economic forecasts appear to be more positive and will continue to closely review our products and services to offer high quality legal support to our clients and their customers.

For further guidance on what this means for landlords and letting agents, and how Legal Expenses & Rent Guarantee insurance can help, please click here.

If you require any further information in relation to this update, or details of our products and services, please contact your Corporate Relations Manager or email [email protected].

Call us on 0344 770 9000