As at 31 May 2021, the residential eviction moratorium as we know it is being amended. The Government has announced that the moratorium introduced to protect tenants during lockdown is being relaxed; which shall be welcome news to Landlords.
As many are aware, notice periods were raised to 6 months, during the first national lockdown in 2020. However, this is reducing on 1 June 2021, to a minimum of four months. With the current Covid-19 map that has been set out by the Government, it is anticipated usual pre-Covid timescales/procedure will resume from 1 October 2021.
As part of the road map, on 1 August 2021, it is anticipated that tenants with equal to or in excess of 4 months rental arrears will require a two month notice period as opposed to 6 months.
However, while the notice periods are reducing, the Breathing Space moratorium came into force on 4 May 2021. This allows tenants to apply for a 60 day “pause” on possession proceedings. Arrears continue to accrue during this time and action can be taken upon the expiry of the Breathing Space to recover the sums due. It is for the tenant to implement the moratorium and there is specific guidance on how this is to be done.
In addition, the Government has released new notice forms that replace the current Section 8 and Section 21 forms. These will come into effect on 1 June 2021, and will need to be used by Landlords when serving notice.