The Government has announced that notice periods for Assured and Assured Shorthold Tenancies are to revert back to those prior to the pandemic from 1 October 2021. In order to benefit from the reduced notice periods it is worth landlords considering waiting until 1 October before serving either of the following:
- Section 8 Notices seeking possession of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy based on one of the grounds set out in Section 8, Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988; and/or
- Section 21 Notices seeking possession of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
For Section 8 Notices, all grounds for possession will revert back to the pre-pandemic notice periods which vary depending on the ground being relied upon. There is also a new prescribed form of Section 8 Notice which must be used from 1 October 2021.
For Section 21 Notices, the notice period shall be “at least two months’ notice”, which reflects the pre-pandemic position. There will also be a new prescribed form of Section 21 Notice from 1 October 2021.
It is important for landlords to ensure that the appropriate amount of notice is given on the correct prescribed form.
Whilst this development will be welcomed by landlords, it should be noted that the legislation which imposed the extended notice periods is simply suspending the paragraphs which deal with the above notices. The legislation itself shall remain in force until 25 March 2022 and therefore there is a possibility that the suspension will be lifted and the extended notice periods re-imposed between now and 25 March 2022, which is likely to depend on the effect of the pandemic over the winter period.
Landlords have been able to issue proceedings for possession since the stay was lifted in September 2020, however, procedural changes in the form of Practice Direction 55C to the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 remain in force until 30 November 2021 (and this date could be extended) so landlords may wish to seek advice on the issue of claims for possession.
This is an area of fast-paced change so please visit our Essential Residential Hub and our timeline on the evolution of the private rented sector to keep up to date with developments.