The Government have bought in legislation that will now return some notice periods back to their pre-pandemic time. If serving a section 21, landlords will now only have to give 2 months notice. Below outlines what the new legislation entails and how it may affect both landlords and tenants.
Since August 2020, a landlord had to give 6 months notice in order to evict a tenant. This was a part of the package to support renters during the height of the pandemic, to secure housing during a difficult period.
So why is this changing? Now we are moving into the post-pandemic era and the property market is starting to settle into more of a “normal” pattern, we have seen a reverse in the legislation that had an effect on both landlords and tenants. The notice period has been altered and we are now back to the original 2 months that we saw a year and a half ago.
The most common way to serve this notice with an assured shorthold tenancy is through a Section 21, which allows the landlord to evict a tenant from their property through “no-fault”, meaning the landlord does not need to give a reason for the notice being served. However, there are other notices that can be served depending on the circumstances and these notice periods may also differ.
Another notice that could be served to either an assured shorthold tenant or an assured tenant is a Section 8, the difference with this notice is a landlord must have legal reason or “ground” to use this option, a common reason this could be used is for rent arrears. During the pandemic, the Government extended the notice period for rent arrears as another support measure for tenants however, this has now been changed back to 2 weeks’ notice. There are also other reasons why a landlord may use a Section 8 for example, antisocial behaviour.
This new legislation that has been bought in is not UK wide, for example, Wales has separate legislation on notice period lengths and so it is always best to double-check if you are not based in England.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen a complete reshuffle in the housing market but this new legislation is a sign of what is hopefully a more settled future ahead of us. It would be presumptuous to assume that it couldn’t all change again though as the 6-month notice period legislation hasn’t been abolished completely. So, it is always important as a landlord to check and make sure that the eviction reason fits with the notice and is reflected correctly in the period given.
*Information accurate at the time article was published.