Eviction Notice Update
Residential Eviction Moratorium to end 31st May
On 12th May, the Government announced that the moratorium on residential evictions during lockdown will end on 31st May 2021.
The Courts will continue to adopt the process that was applied during lockdown of prioritising the most serious cases, such as those involving fraud or anti-social behaviour, with some of the evictions waiting to be enforced when the ban lifts likely to predate the pandemic.
During the pandemic, notice periods were raised from two to six months. However, from 1st June 2021, these will reduce to four months. The Governments plan is to return to pre-Covid notice periods from 1st October, subject to public health advice and progress with the roadmap.
Notice periods for cases where there is four or more months’ of unpaid rent, will reduce to two months’ notice from 1st August.
The Government states that this is to continue to offer tenants protection but also allowing landlords to access justice. 45% of private landlords own just one property and are highly vulnerable to rent arrears.
Notice periods for the most serious cases that present the most strain on landlords will remain lower:
- Anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)
- Domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
- False statement (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
- Over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)
- Breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (2 weeks’ notice)
- Death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)
White paper on changes to the sector
The Government has also announced that a white paper will be published in the autumn, setting out proposals to create a fairer private rented sector, including the abolition of Section 21 evictions and a new ‘lifetime deposit’ scheme.
Author: Steve Wengraf is a solicitor and partner with Rutherfords LLP