Notice periods are set to change in the UK from 1st June. During the pandemic, the UK Government introduced temporary changes which allowed tenants up to six months notice. On 1st June, that will change to at least four months notice. But the government is not reverting to pre-pandemic levels until October in order to protect tenants until post-pandemic.
Landlords have been losing out on rental income as a result of the changes. They will be glad to know that as lockdown restrictions continue to ease, the previous rules will come back into effect slowly but surely. It ties in with Step 3 and Step 4 of the UK Government’s roadmap.
There are, however, particular cases in which these notice periods are significantly reduced:
- anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)
- domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
- false statement (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
- over four months’ accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)
- breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent (2 weeks’ notice)
- death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)
In cases where there is less than four months’ unpaid rent, the overall notice period will be reduced to two months notice from 1st August. The UK Government will also lift the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, which was introduced as an emergency measure on 31st May.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP said: “As Covid restrictions are eased in line with the roadmap out of lockdown, we will ensure tenants continue to be supported with longer notice periods, while also balancing the need for landlords to access justice.”
Although the government are delivering on this aspect, which benefits tenants over landlords, they are not doing the same for ‘no fault’ evictions, says the Renters’ Reform Coalition. They are urging the government after their poll found that 700,000 renters could face eviction once notice period rules are reverted back to their previous state.
Chair of the Renters’ Reform Coalition, Sue James, said: “Private renters face high rents, poor living conditions and perpetual instability. This causes needless disruption to people’s lives: their finances, work, health, and children’s education. Renters need certainty to enable them to put down roots in communities and create real homes in rented properties.”
Both renters and landlords are at a loss, whatever the outcome maybe when it comes to eviction notices. Landlords could stand to lose out on income while renters could stand to lose their homes, all down to the coronavirus pandemic.
For those who have invested and plan to do so for the long term, holding on until the new rules are reverted would be sensible. Knowing that they have the right to evict a tenant without the hassle of a six month period in-between, landlords can look to protect their income if it is being affected.
A third of landlords surveyed by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) even said that they were likely to sell up due to the changes. Some have lost thousands which cannot be gained back, and markets such as BTL are not as desired as they once were. With lockdown restrictions being eased and things returning to normal, it is hoped this will not be the case moving forwards.