On 31st May 2021, the government scaled back a number of measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist the tenants of privately rented properties to retain their homes in times of widespread economic troubles. As of 1st October 2021, such scaling back has taken a step further.
In this article, we will explore the changes that have been made and the impact this will have for landlords moving forward.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government initially introduced a stay of possession proceedings, meaning that landlords could not seek to obtain possession of their rented properties whilst the stay was in place. The stay lasted from 27th March 2020 until 20th September 2020. In addition, a series of extended notice periods which landlords were required to give to their tenants before they could pursue possession of their properties through the Court, were also introduced.
Once the stay of proceedings had been lifted, landlords could once again apply to the Court for an Order for Possession, however, they were unable to enforce them at that stage, except in very serious circumstances. This restriction was brought to an end on 31st May 2021 when bailiff-enforced evictions could recommence, unless the tenant in question or anyone living in the property with them were experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or were self-isolating.
Following 1st October 2021
Since being introduced, the extended notice periods have been gradually reduced on a number of occasions and as of 1st October 2021, are no longer in force, although the government has the power to reintroduce extended notice periods until 25th March 2022, should that become necessary.
The notice periods which must now be given by landlords to their tenants have reverted to those in force prior to the pandemic occurring, being a minimum of two months for notices served under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. For notices served under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988, the notice given is dependent upon which grounds for possession are being relied.
This is good news for landlords who are now able to recover possession of their rented properties much more quickly.
Originally Published 14 October 2021
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