The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, will end on 31 May 2021. 14 days’ notice is required before an eviction can take place. Therefore, no evictions are expected to take place before mid-June. Very few evictions, except in special circumstances, have been allowed to take place since March last year and we therefore anticipate delays nationally while bailiffs work through the backlog. Bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.
Most landlords and agents will be familiar with the need to serve a formal notice on a tenant before commencing eviction court proceedings. There have been a number of changes to notices and the court process since March 2020 to allow for the impact of, and response to, Covid 19.
From 1 June 2021 the notice period for Section 21 notices will be four months, reduced from the six month notice period currently in place.
Section 8 notice periods will also change from 1 June 2021. Where rent arrears are less than four months, the notice period will be four months. Where tenants are more than four months in arrears, landlords will be able to serve Section 8 notice with a four week notice period.
Subject to continuing progress along the roadmap out of restrictions, it is expected notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October 2021. This is of course subject to change.