Changes to notice periods for evictions

The UK Government has announced that from June 1, 2021, notice periods in England that are currently six months, will now be reduced to four months.

The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, will end on May 31.

As part of a phased approach through Step Three and Step Four of the “roadmap,” notice periods are being reduced, apart from the most serious cases, which remain lower:

*Anti-social behaviour (immediate to four weeks’ notice)

*Domestic abuse in the social sector (two to four weeks’ notice)

*False statement (two to four weeks’ notice)

*Over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears (four weeks’ notice)

*Breach of immigration rules Right to Rent (two weeks’ notice)

*Death of a tenant (two months’ notice)

Notice periods for cases where there is less than four months’ unpaid rent, will reduce to two months’ notice from August 1, 2021.

This is to support both landlords and tenants and responds to the greater difference between Covid and pre-Covid notice periods for rent arrears.

The measures will also ensure renters continue to be protected with longer notice periods for the coming months while allowing landlords to access justice. 

Subject to the public health advice and progress with the roadmap, notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from October 1, 2021.

Renters will continue to be supported with living costs, including rent, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until September 30, 2021.

Mark Hayward, Propertymark chief policy advisor, says: “While the reduced notice periods are still longer than pre-Covid, it is pleasing to see the UK Government continuing to provide financial support to tenants, combatting rent arrears as well as providing clarity for the rental sector as we navigate the easing of restrictions.”