Over the course of the pandemic, the Government implemented a variety of measures designed to make life easier for buyers, sellers and renters – not to mention the market as a whole.
And while the Stamp Duty Holiday was probably the most attention-grabbing, another of the Covid-19 initiatives has recently come to an end.
At the start of the pandemic, Section 21 notices - the first step a landlord has to take to evict a tenant – were increased from a two-month notice period to eventually three times that.
The measures were implemented to stop vulnerable renters being evicted, a particular concern following the scale of jobs losses as the country was locked down.
At the height of the pandemic, landlords were instructed to give tenants six months’ notice if they wanted to evict them, which was reduced to four months from June this year.
However, from October 1st, this has now reverted to the original two months.
Section 21 notices are used to begin the eviction process in Assured Shorthold Tenancies, once the fixed term has ended. However, a Section 21 (Form 6a) can be issued, for example in month four of a six-month fixed term tenancy, as long as the notice expires after the fixed term has ended. If the tenancy has now become a periodical, then there is no end date and a Section 21 can be issued at any time.
The Section 21 notices are most common in so-called ‘no-fault’ evictions, for instance when a landlord wants to move back into the property.
Prior to the pandemic, the Government had mooted plans to scrap Section 21 eviction powers in full, but this has been put on the back burner until the end of the coronavirus crisis.
If you have any questions regarding Section 21 notices, whether you are a landlord or a tenant, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.