Yet more important changes to Notice requirements for residential landlords and tenants

Posted on Friday September 11, 2020

Mary BrennanThe Government has announced yet more measures affecting residential landlords and tenants following the further freeze on possession proceedings introduced earlier this year, which has been now extended until 20 September.

The measures came into effect from 29 August, include a requirement until March 2021 that landlords give at least six months’ notice to tenants before evicting them. However, for Private Residential Landlords and Tenants there are certain exceptions and different periods, and the most relevant of which are:

  • Where at least six months of rent is unpaid, a minimum four-week notice period will be required. If less than six months of rent is unpaid, then the notice period is six months.
  • Where a tenant has passed away or does not have a right to rent a property in the United Kingdom then a minimum three-month notice period is usually required.
  • There are shorter periods for certain other specific grounds, including anti-social behaviour and domestic violence.
  • For “no fault” proceedings the period is six months but interestingly to cover what appeared to be an inconsistency regarding the length of validity of those notices, a party can now bring possession proceedings within 10 months from date of service.

In relation to older Rent Act 1977 tenancies, please contact us to discuss relevant periods.

Please be aware that that there are changes to court procedures that require landlords to set out in their claim information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information about the effect of COVID-19. Judges will be able to adjourn proceedings where this information is not provided.

Though our view is that it is better to have shorter periods for certain notice situations, such as rent arrears, the risk of getting this wrong is heightened by the variety of periods that have been outlined and so it is essential that you take professional legal advice before proceeding with a notice.

If you need to give notice to or issue possession proceedings to a tenant, please contact our dedicated Property Disputes team.