Agents’ Alert: surprise changes to notice periods

In the latest twist in the long-running saga of the eviction ban, the government has revealed changes to notice periods.

The changes – announced this afternoon and taking effect over the weekend – mean agents and landlords will only need to give tenants who have committed anti-social behaviour four weeks’ notice of their intention to repossess a property.

Those who have committed acts of domestic violence will only need to be given two weeks’ notice.

In cases of tenant rent arrears, landlords will now only be required to give four weeks’ notice where a tenant has built six months of arrears.

Where tenants are required to vacate property as a result of failed follow up Right to Rent checks, 12 weeks notice will be required.

This will ensure action can start to be taken now against tenants whose arrears had been built up before the COVID lockdown.

This legislation will not be applied retrospectively. Forms 3 and 6a have been updated and will be published tomorrow. ARLA Propertymark understands that the validity of a section notice is being extended to 10 months in order that it does not expire prior to being actioned.

The National Residential Landlords Association has welcomed the changes but says they are ineffective without a cast iron guarantee that the courts will begin to hear cases on September 20.

It adds that aIt is disappointed the six-month notice period will remain in cases where landlords need to regain possession of a property in order to live in it. This will continue to penalise those, such as service men and women in the military, renting their homes out whilst working away.

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