GOVERNMENT CHANGES TO POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS IN THE PRS

Landlords news  

September 22, 2020 | Wendy Sykes

The coronavirus pandemic has made life as we knew it unrecognisable. As well as the personal implications for daily life, its impact is being felt more widely, including for landlords and how they manage their properties. It can be overwhelming with the regular announcements about changes to rules and regulations and it might be difficult to know where you stand. Here’s a useful overview of the new change in Government policy on possession proceedings from The Bond Board, as of the 22nd September 2020.

  • From 21st  September 2020, the courts are re-open for both existing and new  possession cases.
  • There is a backlog of cases, with certain cases given priority for a hearing, including cases where there is a high level of rent arrears (e.g. 12 months rent or 9 months rent where that amounts to more than 25% of a landlord’s income), and cases of anti-social behaviour.
  • For possession claims that were made before the 3rd August 2020 and the landlord wish to continue the claim, landlords will need to send the court and the tenant a ‘reactivation notice’, available HERE
  • Where the case involves rent arrears, the reactivation notice must be accompanied by an updated rent account for the previous 2 years.
  • Where a claim was started in the court on or after the 3rd August, a reactivation notice isn’t required, but the landlord must bring 2 copies of a notice that sets out what they know about the effect of the Covid 19 pandemic on the tenant and their dependant and serve a copy of the notice on the tenant at least 14 days before the court hearing.
  • Notice periods for both Section 21 notices and Section 8 notices have increased. For section 21 notices, the length of notice required is now 6 months from the 29th August 2020.  Notice periods for Section 8 notices vary, but for rent arrears cases, a notice period of 6 months is required, unless the tenant owes 6 months rent arrears or more, in which case the notice period is 4 weeks.
  • Section 21 notices served after the 29th August 2021 will remain valid for an extended period of 10 month, meaning landlords will have 4 months after the expiry date to start a claim. Section 8 notices will remain valid for a period of 12 months.

Let The Bond Board take the strain!

We know that it is a very difficult time for many landlords and tenants. Changes in circumstances, loss of employment or business income and uncertainty about the future have hit both landlords and tenants hard.

The Bond Board offers a free, specialist housing advice service for both landlords and tenants in Rochdale, Bolton, Oldham and Wigan. We can support both parties to try to resolve issues such as rent arrears, benefit/universal credit issues or a breakdown in the landlord/tenant relationship so that the tenancy stays or gets back on track and the need for possession proceedings can be avoided. The sooner you contact us the better, so we can support you and your tenants to get back on track as quickly as possible.

Find out more about our advice and support services HERE

If you need support to solve a problem with a tenancy or need any other advice Contact us

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