The new Coronavirus Act 2020 introduces greater protection from eviction for residential tenants who may be struggling to pay the rent in the current period of redundancies, furlough and lock down.
Extended notice periods
Unlike with commercial tenancies, the Government has not prevented the eviction of residential tenants during this unprecedented period. They have however extended the notice periods for both eviction and commencement of possession proceedings.
Between 25th March 2020 and 20th September 2020, residential Landlords must provide Tenants with at least 3 months’ written notice to quit, and at least 3 months’ written notice of their intention to commence possession proceedings.
What does this mean for landlords?
This extension applies to all forms of residential tenancies. It doesn’t override all the provisions of a tenancy agreement however, so even if 3 months’ written notice is provided, a Landlord cannot evict a Tenant earlier than their tenancy would otherwise allow.
Whilst the legislation initially extends notice periods to 3 months, the Government has retained the right to extend them further to 6 months or more. This may be implemented if the COVID-19 epidemic is longer lasting than expected.
In addition to the extended notice requirements, there have been adjustments to the wording required within both notices to quit and notices of proceedings. This means that landlords cannot use standard notices in their current form until at least 21st September 2020.
Advice for residential landlords
If you are a landlord with a question about the changes, or need help preparing notices which comply with the new rules, then we are here to help. Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly, expert property lawyers.
The Backhouse Solicitors Team
Tel: 01245 893400
Visit: 17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1JU
Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website