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Many of the limitations put in place to prevent landlords from taking legal action against their tenants during the pandemic have been eased.

Last year, the Government introduced a number of restrictions to protect those renting property from being made homeless as a result of financial hardship suffered during the pandemic. Consequently, evictions were prohibited and notice periods were increased, leaving many private landlords in financial difficulty themselves.

According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 45% of private landlords own just one property. Therefore, rent arrears can be particularly damaging to their cash flow.

Turbulent times for landlords appear to be coming to an end following recent announcements.

Eviction ban ended

The eviction ban on rental properties ended on 31st May 2021. This means that landlords are once again able to proceed in providing a 14 day eviction notice before instructing bailiffs to enforce possession orders. However, bailiffs are unable to carry out an eviction if any of the tenants in the property are suffering Covid-19 symptoms or self-isolating.

Reduction in notice period

Further promising news for landlords came in to effect on 1st June 2021, reducing notice periods for seeking possession from 6 months to 4 months. With the exception of the following circumstances:

  • 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 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)
  • Breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (2 weeks’ notice)
  • Death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)

Private landlords should refer to the Government’s ‘Understanding the possession action process: A guide for private landlords in England and Wales’ for the latest advice.

If you are involved in a property dispute and would like to seek specialist advice, call our Property Litigation team on 0191 281 6151 or via email at info@mincoffs.co.uk. Alternatively, you can complete the enquiry form below.

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