Further to our previous article regarding the extended stay for Possession Claims (see here), the Government has now (finally) provided us with clarification regarding the extended 6 month notice period which it previously alluded to by way of an amendment to Schedule 29 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.
It will no doubt not surprise you that the amended legislation is both convoluted and lengthy (perhaps unnecessarily so) but nonetheless provides confirmation that the notice period for both S.21 and S.8 notices has been extended to a period of 6 months as of Saturday 29 August 2020, save for the following S.8 grounds which require a notice period of 4 weeks:-
- The tenant has engaged in anti-social behaviour (Ground 7A, 7B and 14); and
- The tenant is in rent arrears of over 6 months at the time of the notice (Grounds 8,10 and 11).
A two week notice period is still in place for any of grounds 14A, 14ZA or 17 which will only apply in very specific circumstances, the scope of which is beyond this article.
Sadly for many Landlords, the notice period for S.21 notices will be extended to 6 months irrespective of circumstances, reinforcing the governments protection for tenants during these unprecedented times.
At present the current extended notice period will be in effect until 31 March 2021, although of course this is subject to any further surprise changes.
This legislation is still fresh off the press and we expect further details to be released in the forthcoming weeks. The rules are ever changing and therefore it may be the case that the rules are varied again and therefore Landlords should always keep a keen eye on the latest developments and seek legal advice in the event of any uncertainty. Please bear in mind that the Courts are still operating. Landlords do still have the ability to seek urgent injunctions in the face of serious anti-social behaviour, or a lack of access so gas safety checks or urgent repairs can be carried out.