Residential eviction moratorium to end 31st May
On the 12th May 2021, the Government announced that the moratorium on residential evictions during lockdown will end on 31st May. There is a caveat to this in that an eviction is unlikely to take place where the Bailiff or Enforcement Officer has been made aware that anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms, or is self-isolating.
Prioritisation of cases
Courts will continue to prioritise the most serious cases, such as those involving fraud or anti-social behaviour, with many of the evictions waiting to be enforced when the ban lifts predating the pandemic. The backlog of cases waiting to be dealt with will inevitably cause delays with any new “normal” (i.e. not the most serious) cases as these will be dealt with in date order.
As we have advised previously, notice periods were raised, most recently to six months. However, from 1st June 2021, these will be reduced to four months with the plan to return to pre-COVID-19 levels from 1st October 2021. There is a chance that Notice based on rent arrears may change before 1st
October 2021. If they do, we will provide further information on these as and when they are announced. These changes are all subject to public health advice and there being no further large spike in COVID-19 cases.
A recent survey showed that 45% of private landlords own just one property and are therefore highly vulnerable to rent arrears and the latest announcement will be a relief for many such Landlords.
Notice periods for the most serious cases that present the most strain on landlords will remain lower.
There will be a brand new Section 21 and Section 8 which must be used from 1 June 2021 and a reduction in the time frame upon which a Section 21 notice can be used.
If you would like to speak to someone within our Commercial Property or Dispute Resolution teams please contact our offices on 01228 552222 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that both telephone and video appointments can be arranged.