Legislation Update – Notice Periods & Possession

As we ease out of lockdown, rules surrounding the private rental sector are changing.

​From today (1st June 2021) the notice required to regain possession of a rental property has been reduced from 6 months to 4 months except in certain serious circumstances. These include domestic violence, anti-social behaviour, false statement, rent arrears exceeding 4 months, where a tenant has passed away and where a tenant does no have the right-to-rent.

From the 1st of August 2021, the notice period for arrears of less that 4 months, will be reduce to a 2 month notice period.

Evictions can now also be enforced by bailiffs following a successful application to court for a possession order. This means that bailiffs can send out eviction notices and attend properties to evict occupants who have failed to leave by the expiry of their notice.

When considering giving your tenant notice, we would always recommend entering into a discussion surrounding the circumstances under which you are giving notice. This isn’t legally required under a section 21 notice but it can often help the process by keeping things amicable, especially if you are wanting to sell the property or regain possession quickly.

If you are looking to evict due to rent arrears, we have found that having a frank but fair discussion about financial situations can help everyone understand the circumstances on why arrears have built up. This can then help to put a plan in place to pay off the arrears bit by bit whilst also keeping the relationship amicable. Serving notice should be the last resort as it is likely that your tenant will not be able to find a new property quickly and if the notice expires, there is a long backlog in the courts. By the time you get to this point, you may find that the relationship has soured and further problems may develop whilst waiting for your possession order to be granted.

We are happy to mediate and help to direct the tenant to places who can help them with rent arrears and help to put plans in place.

Take a look at the government guidance below: