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Key changes for possession proceedings

Published: 14th May 2021
Area: Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Although we are only just approaching the halfway mark into May 2021 it has already been a busy month, with a flurry of information from the government on possession proceedings.

On 12 May 2021 the government confirmed a number of key changes that will come into effect over the next few months. Our blog on the Debt Respite Scheme covers some of the changes previously announced that came in to force on 4 May 2021.

Here we outline the upcoming changes for possession proceedings.

The ban on evictions will come to an end

The government has announced that the ban on evictions, which is currently in place until 31 May 2021, will come to an end on this date. This means that landlords can apply for a warrant from 1 June 2021.

However, the government has stated that bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.  A 14 day notice is also required before an eviction can take place.

Reduced notice periods for notice seeking possessions

From 1 June 2021 the notice period is set to change again for notice seeking possessions, and the new notice period will be four months rather than the current six months’ notice period.  Although the current exceptions will still be applicable, below is a summary of the key changes;

  • anti-social behaviour (immediate to four weeks’ notice)
  • domestic abuse in the social sector (two to four weeks’ notice)
  • false statement (two to four weeks’ notice)
  • four months’ or more accumulated rent arrears (four weeks’ notice)
  • breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (two weeks’ notice)
  • death of a tenant (two months’ notice)

It is key to note that, from 1 August 2021, where a tenant is in rent arrears of less than four months, the notice period will reduce to two months’ notice.

What do these changes mean for landlords?

The changes will be welcomed by many landlords, however, it is key to ensure that the correct forms and correct notice periods are given in line the up and coming changes.

We’re here to help

If you’re a landlord and need advice regarding possession proceedings then contact Habib Khan in our housing management team, who can guide, help and support you and your teams to deal with any housing management and litigation issues you may face during these evolving times.

Our updated guide to recovery and resilience covers everything you need to navigate your way out of lockdown, unlock your potential and make way for a brighter future. Further advice in relation to COVID-19 can be found on our dedicated coronavirus resource hub.  

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