The temporary ban on landlords evicting tenants is set to be lifted. Jenny Carter in Coodes Solicitors’ Personal Disputes team explains when it means for landlords.
The Government has announced that it will end the temporary measures relating to eviction notices, which were put in place to protect tenants during the pandemic. After many months of restrictions, property landlords will welcome the news.
The gradual winding down of The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 will see the notice period for evictions reduced in June and a return to pre-pandemic timeframes from October 2021.
A temporary moratorium on eviction proceedings
Back in March 2020, the Government introduced emergency legislation through the Coronavirus Act 2020. This put in place a number of measures to protect tenants against eviction, which have since been updated many times. This included a temporary ban (moratorium) on eviction proceedings and landlords being prevented from enforcing evictions with bailiffs.
Changes to notice periods
Perhaps the biggest change is the gradual return to normal timeframes for Section 21 notices. From 1 June 2021, the notice period for a Section 21 notice will be reduced from six months, to four. From 1 October 2021, the notice period is expected to return to its pre-pandemic period of two months.
Notice periods for Section 8 notice grounds evictions are due to return to normal on 1 October as these too were amended by the regulations. These new timeframes will range from two weeks to two months, depending on the ground relied on. On 31 May, the ‘serious arrears’ grounds period will reduce from an arrears requirement of six months to four.
Any landlords currently considering evicting a tenant may want to postpone serving notice until June when the shorter notice period will apply.
An end to the bailiff ban
Many property experts had predicted an extension to the ban on landlords using bailiffs to enforce evictions. This has not materialised and landlords can once again instruct bailiffs to visit properties from 1 June.
It seems very likely that there will be a significant backlog as a result of pent up demand. Therefore, landlords may find that the process takes much longer than usual. It is envisaged that the bailiffs will simply have to deal with enforcement on a first-come first-serve basis and will not fast-track or expedite enforcement for any reason due to the sheer volume of instructions they are likely to receive
After a frustrating few months, this announcement is good news for landlords and a sign of things returning to normal. At Coodes we have been advising our landlord clients on their options as the regulations have changed. We are here to help and offer our specialist legal advice following this latest announcement.
For advice on these issues, please contact Jenny Carter of the Personal Disputes team at Coodes Solicitors on 01726 874758 or email@example.com