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In May 2021, we published an article setting out the position of pre and post COVID-19 requirements for residential possession. This article can be found at the following link: https://flintbishop.co.uk/insights/residential-possession-pre-and-post-pandemic/

The Coronavirus Act 2020 – residential evictions update

The Government has now announced that, further to their commitment made in June 2021, from 01 October 2021, the notice periods required under a section 8 notice and section 21 notice are to be reduced back to the pre COVID-19 periods.

However, the Government has also taken measures to extend the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 which relate directly to residential possession to 25 March 2022, this mirrors the end date for restrictions on commercial forfeiture. The restrictions, which were put in place extending the relevant notice periods under section 8 and section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, have not been repealed but have merely been suspended. It is clearly within the Government’s intention that should the need arise, further restrictions will be put back in place if necessary before 25 March 2022. Whether this will happen is likely to depend on the economic climate and the effects of COVID-19 over the next few months.

For now, this will be a welcome position for residential landlords who have had to endure longer notice periods even where tenants have been in rent arrears, and may help to restore some normality for them following what has been a difficult 18 months for residential landlords.

From 01 October 2021, the following notice periods will apply:

Notice Notice period
Section 21 Notice (Form 6a) 2 months
Section 8 Notice (Form 3) – Grounds 8,10 and 11 (Rent Arrears) 2 weeks
Section 8 Notice (Form 3) – Grounds 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 16 2 months
Section 8 Notice (Form 3) – Grounds 3, 4, 12, 13, 14a, 15 & 17 2 weeks
Section 8 Notice (Form 3) – Ground 14 None required
Section 8 Notice (Form 3) – Ground 7A 4 weeks / 1 month

In accordance with the changes, the Government has also updated the prescribed forms to be used from 01 October 2021. Any notices served prior to 01 October 2021, will not benefit from the reduced notice periods.

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