Tenants must receive 6 months notice

Steve Lumley·1 September 2020·4 min read
Tenants must receive 6 months notice

Landlords have been told by the Government that they must now give six months' notice to their tenants which will run until March 2021.

This is in addition to the eviction ban extension, which was recently announced, and which will now end on 20 September.

With the latest eviction ban extension of four weeks, it means there have been no legal evictions taking place for at least six months.

And when courts do resume their eviction hearings, they will prioritise the most serious cases involving arrears that had built-up before the Covid-19 lockdown, along with crime and anti-social behaviour.

Landlords who haven't been paid rent

However, landlords who haven't been paid rent for more than one year will have to wait to have their case heard.

Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, said: "This year has been challenging and it's why I'm announcing a four-week ban extension on evictions so no renters will have been evicted for six months."

He added: "I'm also increasing the protection for renters and a six months' notice period must now be given to tenants to help support them over winter."

He pointed out that 'domestic abuse perpetrators' and 'anti-social behaviour' will not be tolerated and landlords will be able to progress these 'priority cases' when courts reopen.

The government has also revealed plans for temporary 'Nightingale courts' in a bid to deal with the backlog of court cases.

The process for repossessing property

Now PayProp, the rental payment platform, says that the eviction ban extension and the impact of Covid-19 means that the process for repossessing property will be 'somewhat different when going to court'.

The firm highlights that when a landlord lodges a possession claim for non-payment of rent or rent arrears, they will have to provide information on their tenant's financial circumstances - and the effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on them.

If this information is deemed to be inadequate or is not provided, the court will have the option of adjourning the case.

Research from the National Residential Landlords' Association (NRLA), suggests that more than 95% of tenants are either paying their rent in full, or have agreed to defer or reduce their payments with their landlord.

Tenants who are in arrears

The research of 2,000 tenants also found that less than one-in-three of those tenants who are in arrears, have been served with an eviction notice by their landlord.

PayProp's Neil Cobbold said: "Evicting a tenant through the courts following a five-month hiatus may take longer than usual after the ban is lifted.

"The government's measures suggest that it is looking to limit evictions pursued solely for Covid-19 arrears. They also make clear the courts will prioritise cases of extreme arrears that were accrued before the lockdown and cases of domestic violence and antisocial behaviour."