Law changes for landlords – ten things you need to know before 1 June

Landlord and tenant law has and continues to be ever-evolving in the pandemic. A key date to note for those operating in this world is 1 June 2021. Here’s a brief roundup of what’s to be expected:

  • The moratorium on bailiff-led evictions will come to an end completely on 1 June 2021; landlords will be able to enforce the various court orders that they have obtained.

  • The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) press release suggests that priority will be given to ASB and fraud cases.

  • Tenancies that fall outside one of the statutory regimes (non-Housing Act tenancies) and residential licences will also lose all of their protection from 1 June.

  • From 1 June, section 21 notices will have their notice period reduced from six to four months. Landlords might consider it sensible to wait a few weeks to serve their notices, in order to benefit from the reduced notice period.

  • With regards to section 8 notices, generally speaking, all notice grounds which required six months’ notice will now only require four months’ notice.

  • Notices citing ground 12 for general tenancy breach will have a reduced notice period of four months.

  • For rent arrears using grounds 8, 10 or 11 the notice period will drop further to two months. However, if there are rent arrears which exceed the equivalent of four months’ rent at the time the notice is served, then the notice period will drop to four weeks. This will apply even if the tenant reduces the arrears after the notice has been served.

  • As above, tactfully speaking landlords may want to wait a few weeks to serve their section 8 notices to benefit from a shorter notice period.

  • The new notices are already available on the government website here.

  • There are transitional arrangements in the regulations which mean that the new shorter notice periods will not apply to notices served before 1 June but there is nothing to stop a landlord serving a fresh notice after that date. One should seek specialist legal advice when doing so to avoid there being any confusion or dispute around the validity of notices.

Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to clients of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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