Landlord’s will welcome the Government’s confirmation that notice periods for Assured and Assured Shorthold Tenancies will revert back to those prior to the pandemic from 1 October 2021.
It is now worth landlords considering waiting until 1 October before serving either of the following:
For Section 8 Notices, all grounds for possession will revert back to the pre-pandemic notice periods, which vary depending on the ground being relied upon. There is also a new prescribed form of Section 8 Notice which must be used from 1 October 2021.
For Section 21 Notices, the notice period will revert to “at least two months’ notice”, which reflects the pre-pandemic position. There is also a new prescribed form of Section 21 Notice from 1 October 2021.
It is important for landlords to ensure that the appropriate amount of notice is given on the correct prescribed form. If this is not done then the notice would not be valid.
It should be noted though that only certain paragraphs of the legislation that imposed the extended notice periods are being suspended for now. The legislation itself remains in force until 25 March 2022. This means that there is a possibility that the suspension will be lifted and the extended notice periods re-imposed between now and 25 March 2022. Whether this happens is likely to depend on the effect of the pandemic over the winter period. For this reason, it is more important than ever for Landlords to seek advice to ensure they are clear on the current position and form of notice at the time notice is being served.
Landlords have been able to issue proceedings for possession since the stay was lifted in September 2020. However, the procedural changes in the form of Practice Direction 55C to the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 that have in effect delayed and increased the costs of possession claims for landlords remain in force until 30 November 2021. It remains possible that deadline may be extended or other amendments put in place. As such, landlords would also be well advised to seek advice on the present position at the time they need to issue proceedings as well.