Landlords of residential property will be encouraged to learn of the new regulations laid 10 September 2021 known as The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies and Notices) (Amendment and Suspension) (England) Regulations 2021 (“the 2021 Regulations”).
As has previously been widely reported, during the Covid-19 pandemic a number of extensions were applied to the usual notice periods for evicting residential tenants under the Housing Act 1988 (“1988 Act”), as well as other restrictions on residential evictions.
In respect of the common no-fault ground for possession under section 21 of 1988 Act – where the landlord is seeking to recover possession of a property on or after the end of the contractual term of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) – the usual 2 month notice period under the 1988 Act was extended:
- for notices between 26 March 2020 and 28 August 2020, to 3 months,
- for notices between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021, to 6 months, and
- for notices from 1 June 2021, to 4 months.
The 2021 Regulations come into force on 1 October 2021.
Whilst prospective, the 2021 Regulations represent a move back to the position pre Coronavirus Act 2020, in that the former notice periods will resume application. So in respect of Section 21 notices, the notice period will return to the 2 months prescribed under the 1988 Act.
Landlords wishing to evict a residential tenant via the Section 21 method at the earliest opportunity should ironically therefore now wait and serve notice on or after 1 October 2021, as a Section 21 notice served now would expire later. They should also use the new Form 6A provided in the 2021 Regulations.
At Hamlins, we have considerable experience of advising on, preparing and serving statutory notices and acting for landlords and tenants of residential property in possession claims. If you have any questions, please contact Kate Andrews or Sarah Finch.