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Residential notice periods - an update

View profile for Lauren Fitzpatrick
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The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No.2) Regulations 2021 has reduced notice periods for landlords seeking possession of their properties let on an assured or assured shorthold tenancy, under the Housing Act 1998. From 1 June 2021 notice periods will be no more than four months.

The government has confirmed that these notice periods will be in force until at least 30 September 2021. Subject to public health advice and progress with the Roadmap, the government intends to reduce notice periods to pre-pandemic levels from October 2021. 

Section 21 Notices

Section 21 notices served between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021 seeking possession of a property were required to give at least six months’ notice. For section 21 notices issued after 1 June 2021, a landlord only needs to give a tenant at least four months’ notice.

Section 8 Notices

A notice served pursuant to section 8 of the Housing Act 1998 seeking possession of a property is required to rely on one or more of the grounds contained in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.

The modified notice period for each ground can be found on the GOV.UK website, however the most commonly used grounds and the current notice period required has been set out below:

Ground 1

Landlord wants to move into the property  

4 months

Ground 2

Mortgage repossession

4 months

Ground 6

Demolition/redevelopment

4 months

Ground 7

Death of a tenant

2 months

Ground 7a

Serious anti-social behaviour

4 weeks (periodic tenancy)

1 month (fixed term tenancy)

Ground 7b

No right to rent in UK

2 weeks

Ground 8

Serious rent arrears at the time of service of the Notice

(i) 4 weeks where arrears are at least 4 months

(ii) 4 months where arrears are less than 4 months

From 1 August 2021, only two months notice where arrears are less than 4 months

Ground 10

Some rent arrears at the time of service of notice and possession proceedings

(i) 4 weeks where arrears are at least 4 months

(ii) 4 months where arrears are less than 4 months

From 1 August 2021, only two months notice where arrears are less than 4 months

Ground 11

Persistent late payment of rent

(i) 4 weeks where arrears are at least 4 months

(ii) 4 months where arrears are less than 4 months

From 1 August 2021, only two months notice where arrears are less than 4 months

Ground 12

Breach of tenancy agreement

4 months

Ground 14

Nuisance/annoyance, illegal/immoral use of property

None (proceedings can be commenced immediately after service of notice)

New prescribed forms have also been introduced for both section 21 and section 8 notices which must be used going forward.

Finally, from 1 June 2021 the ban on residential evictions has also been lifted. This allows Bailiffs to attend properties to carry out evictions. The Government has however requested that evictions are not carried out if anyone living in the respective property has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.

Goodman Derrick – Real Estate Dispute Resolution

Our Real Estate Dispute Resolution team has a wealth of experience in both the commercial and residential property sectors, the group:

  • Ensures that problems are resolved in the most cost effective way and at the earliest stage
  • Advise commercial clients on every type of landlord and tenant dispute in relation to both freehold and leasehold property
  • Clients include nationwide retail chains, property developers, investors and managers of substantial portfolios
  • Routinely assist with resolving disputes concerning service charges, covenants, agreements, and forfeiture

More information

This guide is for general information and interest only and should not be relied upon as providing specific legal advice. If you require any further information about the issues raised in this article please contact the author or call 0207 404 0606 and ask to speak to your usual Goodman Derrick contact.