Support for renters continues as national Covid-19 restrictions ease

Rachel Garton and Jane Curtis-Tanton, 13th May, 2021

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher announced in a press release on 12 May 2021 that renters will continue to be supported as we move through the Roadmap with longer notice periods in place until at least October 2021.

Notice periods given in Section 21 Notices and the majority of Section 8 Notices which were previously extended to 6 months as an emergency measure during the pandemic will be reduced to 4 months from 1 June 2021. Subject to the public health advice and progress with the Roadmap, it is expected that notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October.

The most serious cases will continue to be prioritised by the Court and some Section 8 Notice periods will remain lower, including, but not limited to:-

  • Anti-social behaviour grounds – immediate to 4 weeks notice;

  • 4 months or more rent arrears – 4 weeks notice.

From 1 August in cases where there is less than 4 months unpaid rent the notice period will reduce to 2 months.

Prescribed forms

As from 4 May 2021 the prescribed form Section 8 Notice has been amended to include details of The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (see our blog on this topic here) which must now be included when seeking possession, or risk the eviction being rejected.

New prescribed forms for Section 8 and 21 Notices will be available from the beginning of June and the most up to date version must be served on the tenant to ensure that it is valid.

Update on evictions

The ban on bailiff-enforced evictions which was introduced as an emergency measure will end on 31 May 2021. However, 14 days notice is required before an eviction takes place, therefore no evictions are expected to take place before mid-June except in the most serious circumstances. Bailiffs will not carry out evictions if they have been made aware that anyone living in the property has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.

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