The Government introduced legislation to both the private and social rented sectors in England on Saturday 29 August 2020, meaning landlords must now provide tenants with six months’ notice seeking possession of their property, under the Coronavirus Act 2020, until March 2021, except in the most serious cases, such as anti-social behaviour four weeks’ notice instead of six months; domestic violence (two weeks’ notice); rent arrears over six months (four weeks’ notice); and tenancies gained through fraud (two weeks’ notice). Also, where the grounds for eviction relate to the tenant’s immigration status or the tenancy is an assured tenancy and possession is sought following the death of the former tenant, it will be three months’ notice.

The validity of a Section 21 Notice has been extended from 6 to 10 months to accommodate this change.

It is important to note: notices served on and before 28 August 2020 are not affected by the above changes, and must be at least three months.

In addition, should you have to apply to the courts for possession of your property, new court rules have been agreed, which will come into force on 20 September 2020 meaning landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.

When courts do reopen for eviction proceedings, the 'most egregious cases' will be prioritised, including those where crime is involved or where the landlord has not received rent for a year.