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Agents’ Alert: surprise changes to notice periods

In the latest twist in the long-running saga of the eviction ban, the government has revealed changes to notice periods.

The changes - announced this afternoon and taking effect over the weekend - mean agents and landlords will only need to give tenants who have committed anti-social behaviour four weeks’ notice of their intention to repossess a property. 

Those who have committed acts of domestic violence will only need to be given two weeks’ notice.


In cases of tenant rent arrears, landlords will now only be required to give four weeks’ notice where a tenant has built six months of arrears.

Where tenants are required to vacate property as a result of failed follow up Right to Rent checks, 12 weeks notice will be required.

This will ensure action can start to be taken now against tenants whose arrears had been built up before the COVID lockdown. 

This legislation will not be applied retrospectively. Forms 3 and 6a have been updated and will be published tomorrow. ARLA Propertymark understands that the validity of a section notice is being extended to 10 months in order that it does not expire prior to being actioned.

The National Residential Landlords Association has welcomed the changes but says they are ineffective without a cast iron guarantee that the courts will begin to hear cases on September 20. 

It adds that aIt is disappointed the six-month notice period will remain in cases where landlords need to regain possession of a property in order to live in it. This will continue to penalise those, such as service men and women in the military, renting their homes out whilst working away.


  • Barry X

    Hmm, so if you need to evict your tenants it would now be a good idea to get them to hit each other first?!

    This announcement is a TINY step in the right direction, to reduce a minute amount of the huge damage done, but its hardly anything to get excited about and only so far theoretically useful... an awful lot more will need to be done before it makes any real difference at all.

    This announcement, examined critically, once again demonstrates very clearly that the government either doesn't know anything much about the private rental sector and how it works (when they allow it to) or care, or both. Their main interests seem to be (a) trying to impress and win favour with tenants (even the worst ones there are) at any expense and (b) trying to cover their a***s and pretending to implement a few token measure that don't really mean or do anything but can be referred to later to demonstrate their "firm commitment" or whatever.... yawn, zzzz

    Looking on the slightly brighter side though - its amazing, and nice to see the government PERHAPS realising they won't have any private rental sector left they way they're going, and can't keep taking from us - landlords and agents - undermining our rights, wiping out all profits from our businesses, unnecessarily regulating us to death for shallow political "point scoring" reasons and all the rest.

    I still think the basic, standard (or if you like "vanilla") buy to let revolution started by Mrs Thatcher and her more normal Tories in the 1980s is over, dead and finished.... but who knows, some wild optimists claim "miracles do happen". Well that may be true but only if we somehow MAKE them/it happen!

  • icon

    It's one thing after another with consecutive Governments over the last 20 years, creating policy on the whim. Here's a tip from someone who's been in the industry for many decades. Stop interfering, you are creating more problems than you are solving!
    The Housing Act requires a complete overhaul with a considerable amount of deregulation required (not safety regulation). Changes need to be considered given extensive research.... and for god sake listen to those in the industry. The constant interfering from those with little housing experience or knowledge has created an over regulated and disjointed PRS.
    We have private Landlords selling in their droves right now. This is going to cause one hell of a crisis in the coming years. One the industry predicted, but did the Government listen? Did they ***. The shortage of homes will soon be at an unprecedented level ...all due to weak Government pandering to unrealistic, left wing idealism.
    If you think I'm exaggerating about what lies ahead....im sorry but you have your head in the clouds.

  • icon

    Obviously good that the Government is shifting a bit - possibly realising it has gone a step too far with its recent ruinous and disgraceful measures.

    On the one specific point, I wonder how they expect victims of domestic violence to protect themselves against being murdered while the perpetrator is still allowed to live in the family home. Also, will it be 2 weeks' notice followed by a 6 month or more court process as it has been to date?

    What we now need is a plausible threat of legal action to show them we mean business.

  • icon

    Policy rushed is a bad policy.

  • icon

    The one size fits all AST is not ft for all purposes, a fixed term should be binding on both tenant and landlord and should only be extendable by mutual consent. Section 8 is not fit for anythng bar rent arrears and even then it is barely adequate, proving for possession on antisocial behaviour grounds is near impossible. Section 21 was good and would have been fair to everyone with the addition of a free text box giving the reason for possession.
    If tenants knew that they could be evicted in two weeks for persistent non payment of rent it would focus their minds and I believe considerably reduce antisocial behavior, for the two usually go together.


    David, I am selling one of my properties and had hoped to arrange that the tenant left peacefully since they are aware of my intention to sell and the property is on the market.

    The council (and the estate agent) told the tenant that I MUST issue S21. My hope of a civilised end to a long-term tenancy have vanished like summer snow. Yesterday I issued a Section 21 by post and email (which has been acknowledged) and, it seems, just in time thanks to the regular Friday afternoon Government bombshell. Is this the new MO for this government? Wait until the last minute before dropping something heacy on landlords?

    There should be a separate housing court with a panel of three who have experience in lettings as a landlord, tenant or agent and possession should be granted immediately, not in 14 days, for rent arrears. domestic abuse etc.

    If you don't keep up payments on a car, the company reposess without warning. Note that is repossess, not evict them from the car!

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    • 29 August 2020 15:47 PM

    It has now become a compkete joke that effectively tenants are now able to sequestrate private properties for their own use without paying for them.

    This is surely bonkers!!

    I can't think of any other situation where a Govt legally allows a private asset to be used for free with no payment being made to the owner.

    It is surely theft!

    Theft doesnt have to be permanent.
    Stealing an asset for 2 years and not paying anything for it is still theft even if the asset is eventually returned.

    I have a perfectly usable flat which is still vacant from June 7th
    I am not going to take on a tenant while the stupid eviction ban etc persists and even then it would be pointless.
    This due to any repossession action being caught up in the backlog of other repossession cases.

    I'm sure there must be someone that would like to rent my flat but I won't permit it.
    What use is that to desperate tenants!?

    Nope if Govt wishes LL to remain then it needs to amend S21 legislation.
    I like the way it is done in Oz.
    14 days of rent defaulting and the police remove you if the LL desires it.
    Consequently in Oz almost anyone can rent.
    Credit history etc not a problem as every tenant knows that if they rent default they are removed by police 14 days later.
    Seems to work effectively in Oz why NO T here!?

  • icon

    It is nationalisation of housing without compensation. Is Bozo Johnson secretly Corbyn's acolyte?


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