For now, the Government has confirmed that notice periods for Assured and Assured Shorthold Tenancies will revert to pre-pandemic requirements from 1 October 2021. This suspension of the emergency legislation affects Section 8 and Section 21 notices, where landlords are seeking possession of a property.
Since 1 June 2021, most possession notices have required the landlord to give a minimum of four months’ notice if they serve either a Section 21 or a Section 8 notice, except in some specific cases of anti-social behaviour and rent arrears.
From October, the notice periods for Section 8 Notices will revert to the pre-pandemic notice periods – which vary depending on the grounds on which notice is served – and for Section 21 Notices, the notice period will revert to at least two months’ notice. New prescribed forms must be used for both Section 8 and Section 21 Notices from 1 October 2021.
Said Disputes and Litigation expert, David Scarrott: “It is important that residential landlords make sure they give the right period of notice and use the correct form. There is no back-dating for notices served before 1 October, so any action taken before October will continue to be under the notice periods in force at that time.”
David added: “And while this sees a relaxation of the emergency legislation, if there’s a tough winter in economic terms, or a further surge in Covid-19, there is every chance that the extended notice periods will be re-introduced, so it’s very important to double-check before taking action in the coming months.”
A statement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government reflects this, saying that the measures may be re-implemented if the public health situation worsens again, as the legislation which imposed the extended notice periods will remain in force until March 2022 and this is a suspension of, not an end to the emergency legislation.
The notice periods from 1 October 2021:
• Section 21 or Section 8 / 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 or 16 – two months but not before the end of the fixed term
• Section 8 / 8,10,11 on grounds of rent arrears – two weeks
• Section 8 /3, 4, 7b, 12, 13, 14A, 15 or 17 – two weeks
• Section 8 / 7a on grounds of anti-social behaviour with a conviction – one calendar month
• Section 8 / 14 anti-social behaviour – immediately after the notice counts as served, usually 24 hours
*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.