Secretary of State for Housing announces that notice periods for tenants will DOUBLE

26 August 2020
Landlord blog

 

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announces “I am also increasing protections for renters – 6 month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter”.

Secretary of State for Housing announces that notice periods for tenants will DOUBLE

On Friday 21 August 2020 Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced on twitter that “I am also increasing protections for renters – 6 month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter”. Leaving Landlord with the difficult choice of whether to act now or wait.

No further details have been published by Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government beyond Mr Jerrick’s tweet and the official press release.

On 25 March 2020 Schedule 29 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 extended notice periods for section 21 and section 8 notices to three months for all notices served between 26 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.

The notice period of a section 21 notice was increased by a month and the notice period for section 8 notices based on ground 8 (rent arrears) was increased by ten weeks.

The government’s announcement will see notice periods double when the new rules come into force, but landlords will not be remis in thinking that the true effect of this is that the notice period for section 21 notice has tripled since the start of the year and notice periods for section 8 notices have increased by 24 weeks in some cases.

The extension of notice periods to six months will bring England in line with Wales where notice periods were extended on 23 July 2020 for notices served between 24 July 2020 and 20 September 2020.

The change to the notice period does not take effect immediately and we will wait to see if the change is given retrospective effect. The announced changes will require amendments to the Deregulation Act 2015 and Housing Act 1988. In England, unlike Wales, section 21 notices have a ‘shelf life’ of 6 months which must be changed to allow the extension to be lawful.

The changes to the law will take a short period of time to be made but Landlords and Tenants should not expect the changes to be delayed for very long.

Organisations representing tenants have welcomed the announcement and have been vocal in saying that landlord should speak with their tenants before serving any notice.

Landlords with tenants who have accrued considerable arrears now have an urgent decision to make, serve notice now, before the notice period is extended again, or wait six months before they can start possession proceedings.

Landlords considering serving notices should contact Wilkin Chapman LLP.

Tom Hickingbottom 01522 515594 tom.hickingbottom@wilkinchapman.co.uk

Olivia Macken 01472 253956 Olivia.Macken@wilkinchapman.co.uk


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