The last 18 months have been demanding for everyone and have posed new challenges for landlords and tenants alike. Now that we appear to be exiting the tunnel and re-entering the world, laws around possession proceedings are changing once more.
So where are we now? From 1 October 2021 the law is set to return to pre-pandemic levels for new possession matters as follows:
- Section 21 Notices (Form 6A) - the required notice period will once again be 2 months
- Section 8 Notices (Form 3) – will revert to pre-pandemic notice periods. The relevant notice period varies dependant on the ground relied upon and therefore landlords and agents should check the notice period required for the specific ground they wish to rely upon. One of the most commonly used grounds, Ground 8 (one of the rent arrears grounds), will revert back to a 2 week notice period
- As a result, there will be new Forms 6A and 3 that should be used from 1 October 2021 onwards available from the GOV.UK website
For any ongoing cases it is likely that you will need to follow the law as it was at the time the notice was served or proceedings were commenced, and if you are unsure then we would recommend you seek legal advice.
At the time of writing, it appears that the temporary provisions (Practice Direction 55C of the Civil Procedure Rules) are to remain in place until 30 November 2021. These temporary provisions include the requirement to provide the Court with information as to the effect of the pandemic upon the tenant.
The restrictions on residential evictions ended on 31 May 2021. However, Bailiffs have been asked not to carry out residential evictions after this date if anyone in the property has Covid symptoms or are self-isolating and we have experienced this, albeit a prompt second eviction date was given.
The Government has retained its emergency powers until 25 March 2022. It therefore has the power until that time to reintroduce longer notice periods once again.
This is an area of law under constant review due to the pandemic and, as promised, we will work to keep you informed of developments. In the meantime, if you have any questions arising out of this latest announcement, then please do not hesitate to contact us.