The government has confirmed that eviction notices will revert to pre-pandemic lengths on 1 October 2021 in England and Wales, which should come as some relief for landlords with non-paying tenants.
The change will mean landlords will only have to give tenants two months’ notice before taking action when issuing Section 21 or Section 8 notices.
Mark Hayward, chief policy advisor, Propertymark, said: “Letting agents and landlords have worked hard to maintain tenancies throughout the pandemic, so it is pleasing that the UK government has kept to its word and given the sector ample notice prior to notice periods returning to pre-COVID lengths in England from 1 October 2021.
“Looking ahead there is still a hangover from the court suspension which means that some tenants have been able to rack up months of arrears with no action and some landlords have sold properties due to a busy sales market because of the Stamp Duty holiday.
“As future reforms are considered for the private rented sector, the UK government must now reflect on the last 18 months and implement policies that support letting agents and landlords to continue to house the nation.”
Due to the Coronavirus Act 2020 landlords had to give their tenants six months of notice between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021 in all but the most serious cases.
This was shortened to four months in June 2021, while from August 2021 landlords have been able to start evictions proceedings with two months notice when tenants are at least four months behind on their rent.
While notices are returning to normal in England and Wales, in Northern Ireland legislation has been passed requiring private landlords to give tenants a 12-week notice period before seeking a court order to begin eviction proceedings.
This will last until 4 May 2022.
Before the pandemic landlords in Northern Ireland could evict tenants with a four week notice period, half the length in England and Wales.