Covid-19 - Guidance for landlords and tenants

Further changes to the Covid-19 guidance for landlords and tenants were introduced in August 2020.

Legislation has now been introduced, so landlords must now give tenants six months' notice before they can evict until March 2021, except in the most serious of cases, such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators.

The stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September, meaning that in total no tenant can have been legally evicted for six months at the height of the pandemic.

The package of support for renters includes the extension of notice periods and the extension to the stay on possession proceedings. For the most egregious cases, notice periods have returned to their pre-coronavirus levels, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.

These changes mean that from 29 August, landlords must provide at least six months' notice period prior to seeking possession through the courts in most cases, including  section 21 evictions and rent arrears under six months.

Notices served on and before 28 August are not affected by these changes, and must be at least three months.

The government is also helping landlords affected by the worst cases to seek possession; these are:

  • Anti-social behaviour (now four weeks' notice)
  • Domestic abuse (now two to four weeks' notice)
  • False statement (now two to four weeks' notice)
  • Over six months' accumulated rent arrears (now four weeks' notice)
  • Breach of immigration rules 'Right to Rent' (now three months' notice)

In addition, new court rules have been agreed, which will come into force on 20 September meaning landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant's circumstances, including information on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.

Read the full guidance