Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Filter by Categories
Allocation
ASB
Assured Shorthold tenancy
assured-tenancy
Benefits and care
Deposits
Disrepair
Homeless
Housing Conditions
Housing law - All
Introductory and Demoted tenancies
Leasehold and shared ownership
Licences and occupiers
Mortgage possession
Nuisance
Possession
Regulation and planning
right-to-buy
secure-tenancy
Succession
Trusts and Estoppel
Unlawful eviction and harassment

Less Notice! More Forms! End of eviction ban!

I know, I know – it is a Wednesday, so you weren’t expecting new regulations and forms. Let alone a couple of weeks before they come into effect. But here they are! (For England only)

The Govt announced that from 1 June 2021 there will be new notice periods for NTQs/notice seeking possession on tenancies. Rather than reverting to the pre pandemic notice requirements, there will be a further period from 1 June 2021 to 30 September 2021 in which 4 months notice will be required, down from 6 months. (Except where it will change on 1 August 2021, on which more below).

There are the same exceptions as before, but crucially, the rent arrears exception has changed such that only 4 weeks notice is required where rent arrears are over 4 months (down from 6 months).

(The govt announcement says

Notice periods for cases where there is four or more months’ of unpaid rent, will reduce to 2 months’ notice from 1 August. This is to support both landlords and tenants and responds to the greater difference between COVID and pre COVID notice periods for rent arrears.

As far as I can see, this is actually wrong. The notice period for arrears claims of LESS than 4 months worth of arrears changed from 4 months to 2 months on 1 August. Detail below.)

The other headline is that the eviction ban ends on 31 May 2021.

At the same time – in another departure from the ‘new normal’ two regulations were laid:

The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 – coming into effect on 31 May 2021, and

The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) and Suspension (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021, coming into effect on 1 June 2021.

The former amends Schedule 29 Coronavirus Act 2020 (as amended by The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 ) to provide for the revised notice periods from 1 June to 30 September 2021.

The general notice period for Rent Act, secure, introductory, demoted, assured and assured shorthold tenancies is revised from 6 months to 4 months.

The period in which proceeding can be issued on a section 21 notice is revised from 10 months from service to 8 months from service. (So a 4 month window after a 4 month notice period.)

The exceptions to the ‘longer’ notice periods remain as before, except where they don’t. The big changes are for rent arrears.

Where rent arrears are at least 4 months worth, the notice period is 4 weeks.

And – just to make things really complicated for anyone trying to work out notice periods – for rent arrears grounds where the arrears are less than 4 months, the notice period will change as of 1 August 2021. From 1 August 2021 the notice period will be two months.

The new forms (amendment) Regs do two things.

First, as of 1 June 2021, paragraph 12(1) of Schedule 29 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 will be suspended. This is the para that says to read the prescribed forms 3 and 6A (section 21 and section 8 respectively) as if specified bullet points said 6 months notice.

Second, there are new prescribed forms 3 and 6A inserted into the forms regs as of 1 June. The notes to these forms include both the ‘breathing space’ regs references that caused so much trouble last Friday, and the new notice periods – including both the ‘before and after 1 August but less than 4 months arrears’ notice periods.

So, the forms should be useable from 1 June 2021 (or indeed before, as they will the prescribed form on 1 June, so any s.8 or s.21 notice sent that will be deemed served on or after 1 June should be in this form).

Of course, if the notice periods change after 30 September 2021, there will need to be new forms. But at least from 1 June 2021, these forms appear to work, and what is more will clear up the mess of the period 4 May 2021 to 31 May 2021 where the prescribed form 3 couldn’t be used and MHCLG’s own published version was and is quite possibly not lawful.

So, new dates to remember for when forms must be used (at least a couple of working days before they are in force, if sent by post), when notice periods change (and indeed change again for rent arrears grounds).

 

 

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

6 Comments

  1. Darren

    I’ve been following your posts for about 2 years Giles since receiving a S21 notice.

    I just wanted to say thank you, it’s appreciated.

    Reply
  2. Eloise

    This is mind-boggling. Trying to figure out when to give notice for an assured shorthold tenancy ending on 21 September. Now impossible to do unless I’ve missed something…

    Reply
    • Giles Peaker

      Not to expire on that date, no. But then you couldn’t after 21 March this year anyway, given the six month notice requirement

      Reply
  3. Kevin Potts

    Your blog is literally a life saver for me as a CAB advisor who does a lot of housing work!! I downloaded the .Gov Evicting Tenants page this mornina and the narrative stated with a link, that the form3 now takes account of the new 4 months et al changes from 1/6/21. So I dodwnloaded it and noticed that whilst it accommodates the Breathing space, etc, the guidance notes on the form still refer to 6 months notice. Is there likely to be a brand new correct form taking into the account the new notice periods, exceptions etc from 1/6/21?

    Reply
    • Giles Peaker

      There already is one – the prescribed form 3 set out in the regulations linked to above. In effect from 1 June.

      Reply

Leave a Reply (We can't offer advice on individual issues)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.