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09/09/2021

1 October – new (old) notice periods and new forms

New regulations were laid today (9 Sept) coming into force on 1 October 2021 for England. The snappily titled The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies and Notices) (Amendment and Suspension) (England) Regulations 2021 do the following.

  • Extend the period for Schedule 29 Coronavirus Act 2020 from ending on 31 September 2021 to 25 March 2022, but
  • Paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 to 10(1) of Schedule 29 are suspended (i effect, the notice period extension provisions), and
  • Substitute a new notice for the Secure Tenancies (Notices) Regulations 1987(1) notice specified in Part 2 of the Schedule, and
  • Insert new prescribed Form No 3 (section 8) and Form No 6A )(section 21) to the Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) Regulations 2015.

The form are in the schedule to the regulations.

Weirdly, the regulations also remove 3A from the 2015 forms regs. This was a requirement that the Secretary of State must from time to time (within 5 years) review form 6A and produce a report. The Secretary of State never did, and is late, but clearly felt this was too onerous and has removed the duty.

The upshot for notice periods is basically everything reverts to pre Coronavirus Act 2020 notice periods as of 1 October 2021. But it is important to note, as specifically provided, that the changes on 1 October will not validate a notice given before 1 October with the then wrong notice periods, or on the wrong prescribed form at the time of the service of the notice. Anyone thinking of serving a section 21 notice now should wait until 1 October. It would be quicker. But it has to be on the right form.

(Speaking of which, it has been drawn to my attention by a colleague that the current Lexis version of the section 21 notice for England is wrong. And the legislation.gov.uk version on the 2015 Forms regs is not up to date. )

( @robin_stewart1 LexisNexis, Westlaw and legislation.gov.uk not only disagree about what the current text of section 21 Housing Act 1988 is – there are three different versions! Legislation.gov.uk is just not updated but I think Lexisnexis is out of date and also wrong…? )

I suppose I’ll have to update the s.21 flow chart again….

 

 

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.

9 Comments

  1. David Brian

    I presume that these Regulations only apply to England, based on the title of the Regulations, and regulation 1(5), which says that the Regulations apply in relation to England. However, I was a little thrown my regulation 1(4), which states that the regulations “extend” to England and Wales.

    Assuming that the Regulations do only apply to England, do we know what the position is in Wales?

    Reply
  2. RD

    Previous versions of Form 3 (the NSP) have included notes on the grounds of possession and notes on the earliest date on which proceedings could commence – setting out the statutory provisions and timings (which presumably helped landlords, defendants and judges to see at a glance the rules that are in play). The new Form 3 included in the Regs at Schedule 2 does not.

    Was this a deliberate decision to simplify the appearance of the form, an oversight, or something else?

    Reply
  3. chewiemfalcon

    I’ve read there’ll be separate notes to accompany the new Form 3.

    But won’t there be a need for a new NSP for non-fixed term periodic secure tenancies reflecting the pre 26/3/20 position?

    Reply
    • Giles Peaker

      That isn’t a prescribed form. I think.

      Reply
  4. LC

    s83 requires the notice to be in the form prescribed by Regs made by the SoS and (amongst other things) to specify the date after which proceedings may be begun. The prescribed form doesn’t appear to make provision to specify any such date. How is the prescribed form therefore compatible with s83?

    Reply
    • Giles Peaker

      S.83 doesn’t. Prescribed form for fixed term tenancies (83(2)). Date after which proceedings may be begun for periodic tenancies (83(3)).

      Reply
  5. LC

    Oops, yes realised my error shortly after I’d sent the question!

    Reply

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