In the latest on a series of articles keeping clients updated on the changes implemented by the Government throughout the Coronavirus crisis, Will Bartley explains when the ban on evicting tenants will end and what impact that might have.
When does the ban end on evicting tenants?
The Coronavirus Act 2020 implement by the Government ensured that tenants could not be evicted during the pandemic. However, the end of the ban is now fast approaching, paving the way for landlords to issue or recommencing possession proceedings in Court to evict their tenants.
When can I start the eviction process after coronavirus?
The ban on evicting tenants ends on 23rd August 2020, which means that on Monday 24th August, the Courts in England will again recommence progressing claims made by landlords in evicting their tenants, through Section 21 or Section 8 Notices.
It also means that any claims previously issued with the Court, including Bailiff enquiries, can also recommence and progress. For any current proceedings, the landlords or their representatives will need to inform the Court and their tenants that they wish to progress with the eviction.
UPDATE: The Government announced on Friday 21st August that teh ban would be extended by 4 weeks until 20th September. We will provide an update as soon as possible.
Can I use a Section 21 Notice or Section 8 Notice now that the ban on evictions has ended?
Landlords have been able to issue these Notices throughout the ban period, and therefore they can and should still be used if you wish to evict your Assured Shorthold and Periodic tenants.
The Government has extended the notice period for both of these Notices to 3 months, and this remains in place for the time being.
How do you serve a Section 21 Notice correctly?
Notices, although appearing simple at first, can actually be quite complicated to complete and serve correctly, as there are a number of prescribed requirements that must be met before they can be effectively given to the tenant.
We therefore recommend that you take legal advice before drafting one yourself. We offer a free initial consultation to landlords for this. Please see this article by my colleague Kerri Hunter for an explanation of a common pitfall that landlords make when filling out their own Notices.
Which is quicker - Section 8 or Section 21?
Evictions - how much notice does a landlord have to give?
As mentioned above, both Notices now require a 3 month notice period. This is remaining in force beyond the lifting of the ban on 23rd August, and we will advise further when it is clear when the notice period for both will revert back to the standard period from before the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Is the Government going to scrap Section 21 Notices?
There have been well-documented plans to scrap the Section 21 eviction Notice, however these have rightfully been delayed until at least 2021 to allow landlords and the Courts time to progress the backlog of evictions and tenancy related issues caused by the pandemic.
How long will it take to evict a tenant?
It is clear that waiting times and Court Hearing dates are going to be subject to substantial delays due to the backlog of possession proceedings. Landlords will therefore need to plan accordingly if they are wanting to evict their tenants now that the ban has passed.
It is also clear that for any rent related evictions, for which Section 8 Notices are commonly used, the landlord will be required to provide the Court with as much information as is reasonable regarding the tenants financial circumstances, including substantial rent arrears records and any details that the tenant has provided to the landlord about Coronavirus related unemployment or hardship.
Landlord & tenant solicitors in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and The New Forest
If you wish for us to assist you with eviction related enquiries, including drafting and issuing proceedings or eviction notices, please feel free to contact us on 01202 499255.
We offer all new clients a free initial chat with one of our bright, friendly lawyers over the phone or by video call.
Related landlord & tenant articles
Will Bartley is one of our bright lawyers in our specialist dispute resolution team. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, he has been keeping landlords and tenants up to date with changes in guidance and legislation.
You may find the following articles useful if you are affected by any of the issues outlined in this article.