Changes to Notice Periods for Serving a Section 8 Notice

Changes to Notice Periods for Serving a Section 8 Notice

Regulations in England have been passed which will reduce the current minimum notice periods from 6 months to 4 months for most possession notices served between the 01 June 2021 until 30 September 2021 (inclusive).

These changes to notice periods for serving a Section 8 Notice come into effect on the 01 June 2021, with further changes to section 8 notice periods (on the grounds of rent arrears) had come into force on the 01 August 2021. These changes are part of a phased approach which offers protection for tenants during the continuation of the roadmap out of lockdown. Subject to public health advice and progress with the roadmap, notice periods will revert to pre-pandemic levels from the 01 October 2021.

It had also been announced that the temporary eviction ban in England ended on the 31 May 2021, you can read our article on this here. From the 01 June 2021 landlords have been able to enforce court orders for possession.

Section 8 Notice

The notice periods for serving a section 8 notice are more complex as the notice period required to be given is dependent on the ground(s) relied on. The general rule from 01 June 2021 is that where the current notice period was 6 months, this has been reduced to 4 months.

The existing exceptions for notices served on the grounds of anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and false statements remain the same.

However, there are new changes as of 01 August 2021 which apply where the grounds relate to rent arrears, the death of a tenant or there is a breach of the immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’.

1. Rent Arrears:

a) If at least 4 months’ rent is unpaid, landlords will have to give at least 4 weeks’ notice (‘Serious rent arrears’);

b) Where less than 4 months’ rent is owing (‘Non-serious rent arrears’), landlords will have to give at least 4 months’ notice from the 01 June 2021 until 31 July 2021 inclusive; and

c) Where less than 4 months’ rent is owing (‘Non-serious rent arrears’), landlords will have to give at least 2 months’ notice from and including the 01 August 2021.

2. Death of a Tenant:

If a landlord is wanting to serve a section 8 notice using ground 7 of Schedule 2 to the 1988 Housing Act (death of tenant), the landlord must give at least 2 months’ notice.

3. Right to Rent:

If a landlord is wanting to serve a section 8 notice using ground 7b (immigration status of tenant) (England only), the landlord must give at least 2 weeks’ notice.

A new prescribed form for section 8 notices will be made available and must be used from the 01 June 2021 (this comes less than two weeks after a new one had just been published dealing with the breathing space regulations).

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. You can contact our team for legal advice on 020 3903 2000.