October 1st 2021: Pre-Pandemic Eviction Notices Return
The emergency measures put into place by the government to protect renters as part of the Coronavirus Act 2020 returned back to its pre-pandemic levels on 1st October 2021.
Knowing what your rights are as a landlord and tenant enables you to navigate the process smoothly and within the correct procedures and parameters of the law.
What is a Tenancy Agreement?
A tenancy or Tenancy Agreement are both referring to the same thing and are a legally binding written contract between a landlord and a tenant. The most common type of tenancy is an assured shorthold tenancy which is generally what private landlords and lettings agents’ issue. It lays out the obligations, duties and responsibilities between both parties by which a person is allowed to reside at the property.
What is the Notice Period for Eviction?
This is when a landlord seeking possession of a residential property will give notice of their intention to evict a current tenant either by a Section 21 (S21) or Section 8 (S8) Notice which is now back to its normal period of 2 months for a S21 Notice and there are different periods in relation to a S8 Notice depending on what grounds are pleaded in respect of the repossession of a property.
When Can a landlord Evict a Tenant?
A landlord can evict a tenant under the Housing Act prior to a Tenancy Agreement ending whereby a S8 Notice can be used if a tenant or another individual who resides within the rental property has acted in a manner which they were not supposed to or if something is not done that they were supposed to do, for example, having accrued a certain level of rental arrears.
Is a Section 21 an Eviction Notice?
Deriving from the Housing Act 1988 this action is used to give notice to a tenant, although you may also see it referred to as an, ‘Eviction Notice,’ ‘Notice to Quit’ or even, ‘Notice Seeking Possession’.
When a landlord uses a Section 21, they do not have to offer a reason asking for you to leave, however, the correct notice period consisting of a minimum of 2 months must be offered. This is commonly known as a ‘No Fault Notice’.
New Version: Using the Correct Section Forms
New section forms have been issued by the Government as at 1st October 2021 and thus any landlords wishing to issue eviction notices to tenants have to ensure they utilise the correct forms provided which can be located on the Government website in respect of Section 8 and Section 21 Notices.
It should be noted that previous notes and advice for tenants and landlords on the grounds for eviction within Section 8 Notices are now no longer given.
What is a Possession Hearing?
An eviction hearing also referred to as a, ‘Possession Hearing’ and is part of the eviction process. It’s where a Judge in the County Court will determine whether or not to allow repossession by the landlord of the residential property. Usually this decision is made on the day of the hearing.
An Order given for possession can sometimes be, ‘Set Aside’ or, ‘Suspended’ if a tenant’s situation changes and would be described as a, ‘Suspended Possession Order’.
If the eviction notice is upheld by the court and repossession is granted, a tenant is usually given 14 days to leave the property but in certain circumstances this can be increased to 6 weeks.
The Impact on Court Wait Times?
Even with reduced caseloads, courts have still seen severe delays and whilst the changes in legislation are unlikely to affect the waiting duration it is always encouraged that landlords work closely with tenants in seeking a resolution.
Can the Notice Periods be Extended Again?
It’s worth noting that whilst the Government has said that notices have returned to pre-Covid levels, they have reserved the right to reinstate eviction notice restrictions which remains in place up until 25th March 2022, ‘should the future public health situation warrant a further extension’.
At Guardian Solicitors we care about you and as our client we will work closely with you to help find the right choice that matches your legal needs at the right time.
For further details you can contact our expert and experienced advisory and litigation services in Landlord, Tenancy and Housing Law to arrange an initial consultation with one of our specialist Guardian Solicitors by emailing email@example.com or by calling 0203 301 6600.