Subject: Possession Update: New Tenant Notice periods

Possession update from the NRLA: what you need to know about possession from the 1st Oct 2021

A lot of landlords may already know this but if not, just to let you know that the Government has laid legislation that will return notice periods to their pre-pandemic levels in England from 1 October 2021.

Possession notice periods have been changed multiple times since March 2020 leading to a great deal of confusion about how landlords may seek possession during the pandemic.

The current notice period requirements

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.

Due to NRLA lobbying there are some shorter notice periods available if the landlord serves a section 8 notice. In particular landlords can access shorter notice periods where –

The tenant engages in anti-social behaviour (24 hours or one month depending on the ground)
They have built up rent arrears (4 weeks or 2 months depending on the level of arrears)
Notice periods from 1 October 2021

From 1 October 2021, notice periods will return to their pre-pandemic levels. This means that the following notice periods will apply for assured shorthold tenancies:

* Section 21 or Section 8 using any of grounds 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 or 16 – two months
and cannot expire before the end of the fixed term
* Section 8 using the rent arrears grounds (8, 10 and 11) – two weeks
* Section 8 using grounds 3, 4, 7b, 12, 13, 14A, 15 or 17 – two weeks
* Section 8 using ground 7a (anti-social behaviour with a conviction) - One calendar month
* Section 8 using Ground 14 (the discretionary ground for anti-social behaviour) - Immediately after the notice counts as served (usually 24 hours)

Will the new notice periods be backdated?

No, any notices served before 1 October will still need to comply with the current rules so will typically require four months’ notice.

Given this, landlords who are planning to serve a Section 21 notice should probably wait until 1 October before taking action. This will save landlords over a month with the shorter notice periods.

Will there be new Section and Section 21 forms?

Yes, the new legislation introduces new version of Section 8 and Section 21 notices for landlords to use. Both the Form 6a (Section 21) and the Form 3 (Section 8) are prescribed forms so landlords must ensure they use the correct version before service. This should be available to download from on 1 October 2021.

The wording of the new forms has also changed substantially. For example, the section 8 notice no longer contains guidance for tenants and landlords on what notice periods are required for each ground.

However, if you are a member of the NRLA you will still be able to access completion notes to help guide you through completing both forms. These resources will be published on 1 October 2021.

Thanks and have a great day,

Mike Frisby
Property Investor, Developer, Strategist & Coach

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