The UK Government has recently made an announcement that from 1 June 2021, notice periods in England that are currently six months, will now be reduced to four months.
The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, which was introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown will now end on 31 May. As part of a phased approach through step three and four of the roadmap, notice periods are now being reduced, apart from more serious cases which remain lower. These include:
- Anti-social behaviour (immediate of four weeks’ notice)
- Domestic abuse in the social sector (two – four weeks’ notice)
- False statement (two – four weeks’ notice)
- Over four 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 now reduce to two months’ notice from 1 August 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. These measures will also ensure that renters can 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 be returning to pre-pandemic levels form 1 October 2021.
In terms of financial support, renters will continue to be supported with living costs, which includes rent, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until 30 September 2021. Extensive financial support remains in place to help individuals meet their outgoings, including the furlough scheme and the Universal Credit uplift, which have both been extended until the end of September. The Queen’s speech on 11 May also announced that a White Paper will be published in Autumn to set out proposals that will create a fairer private rented sector that works for both landlords and tenants.