Section 21 and Section 8 notice periods have returned to their pre-pandemic levels in England.
Measures were introduced in March 2020 to deal with the instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and have been altered and adjusted numerous times since. However, as of the 1st of October, these measures have now returned to what they were prior to the pandemic.
The return to pre-pandemic levels for notice periods will make it easier and faster for landlords to apply to court than it has been since the measures were introduced last year. Court delays are still ongoing however thanks to a backlog building up throughout the pandemic, so it is advised that landlords should continue to prioritise working with their tenants to sustain the tenancy and find an amicable agreement wherever possible.
There is a possibility that these notice periods will be extended once again in the future. The Government has retained the power to control this and can do so at any point up until March 2022 – however, this looks unlikely to happen as things stand.
Notice periods from 1st October 2021 are as follows for shorthold tenancies:
- Section 21 or Section 8 using any grounds 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 or 16 – 2 months and cannot expire before the end of the fixed term.
- Section 8 using the rent arrears grounds (8, 10, 11) – 2 weeks.
- Section 8 using grounds 3, 4, 7b, 12, 13, 14A, 15 or 17 – 2 weeks.
- Section 8 using ground 7a (Anti-social behaviour with a conviction) – 1 calendar month.
- Section 8 using ground 14 (the discretionary ground for anti-social behaviour) – Immediately after the notice counts as served.
There will be new versions of Section 21 and Section 8 notices for landlords. Both of these are prescribed forms, so landlords must ensure they use the correct version before service. You can download these forms on the government website here. Find the Section 21 notice under Form 6a, and the Section 8 notice under Form 3.
If you have any questions about these changes to Section 21 and Section 8 notices, feel free to get in touch with your local Intus branch and a member of our team will be more than happy to help with your query.