Last Friday 28th August, we found out why certain eviction forms had been removed from the .gov website.
We found out there was a new section 21 form 6a which meant that from 29th August 2020, a landlord has to give six months notice to a tenant to ask to leave the property.
What does this mean for landlords?
If you want to give notice to your tenant, you must now give 6 months’ notice and the life of that notice is 10 months.
There are some exceptions to this – such as anti social behaviour or domestic voice (see our post on evictions for more information here).
If we have given notice for you before 29th August this will still be on a 3-month notice period. Currently the word is that this will be reviewed in March 2021, but with the backlog of eviction cases, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this date change closer to the time.
What’s the reality?
Whilst the above is true, we don’t envision it affecting the portfolios we look after. Our reality is that when a tenant gets notice, invariably they want to move on as soon as possible and it very rarely gets to the eviction stage.
That may change with Covid-19 and the associated job losses, but our experience since March has been that people want to stay in their homes, so agreed payment plans for back rent have been the answer.
There are also a large number of organisations calling for government-backed loans for tenants in difficulties – a £10 million support package for Landlords and tenants is going through in Scotland so it could be something our government choose to adopt.
However, if a tenant refuses to move out, we have got to deal with what this means. Courts will not be in session until the end of Sept 2020, and where they used to hear 8 / 10 cases per hour with social distancing rules this could be reduced to 2/3 . There’s also a potential backlog of 62,000 cases so if you are issuing notice now – you will likely have to wait some time before your tenant vacates the property.
The best protection in these kinds of scenarios, is to make sure that you have legal cover and/or rent protection.
If you have any worries at all about this, please do give us a call – we’ll be happy to talk through anything with you. You can also get updates each week from our Facebook Live market updates on our exclusive Facebook group for landlords. We cover everything from legislation changes to whether or not it’s a good time to buy property as a long-term investment. Please do come and join us here. It’s also a great place to ask any questions you may have.