As we continue to monitor the many changes to the residential possession regime, there is some good news for Landlords in the most recent changes announced to the possession notice periods.
The Government has announced that from 1 August 2021, for notices served in respect of the possession of a residential property on the ground of rent arrears of less than 4 months’, the requisite notice period is reduced to 2 months, falling back in line with pre-covid measures. Where rent arrears are 4 months or more, the notice period remains 4 weeks.
In addition to this, it has also been announced that from 7 August 2021 it is necessary to provide tenants a further minimum 7 days’ notice of eviction, if the first eviction does not take place as intended after a possession order is obtained. For example, if a tenant is provided two weeks’ notice of the date of eviction (which is the norm with enforcement of possession orders), if that does not take place, a further one week’s notice must be provided for the subsequent eviction date.
It is also worth noting that from 21 July 2021, the 'How to Rent Guide' for residential tenants has been updated. However, it does not appear there has been an update to the existing 'How to Rent Guide' but rather an 'easy read' version has been created. The guidance suggests that the usual ‘How to Rent’ guide should be provided to all Tenants and that this should suffice for the 2015 Regulations. For anyone who requests or may need the Easy Read version, this should be provided in addition, given its existence, as a reasonable adjustment under Equality Act 2010. Whilst the easy read How to Rent guide may not be necessary, it may be worth providing both guides as a belt and braces approach. A failure to provide the easy read version of the guide may amount to discrimination under the Equality Act.
Our Litigation team are on hand to deal with any queries from Landlords and Tenants regarding these changes. Please contact us should you have any questions or need any advice or assistance relating to a possession claim. We will provide further updates when possible.
Helen Lyne, Executive Associate Solicitor, Litigation.
Hayley Bartram, Solicitor, Litigation.
Natalie Wilson, Legal Assistant, Litigation.