Explaining the New Eviction Rules and Exceptions in England.
Recently, the government issued guidance on new eviction rules following the ending of the eviction ban in England on 21st September 2020. When the eviction ban ended, the courts began considering possession proceedings for private tenancies. So what do the new evictions rules mean for private tenants and landlords now the ban has been lifted? We explain how eviction law works, describing the new rules and the new exceptions in this post.
How Does Eviction Law Work?
Under English law, a private tenant who refuses to leave cannot be evicted from their home without an order from the court. To obtain an order from the court, the landlord must first serve a notice on the tenant informing them that they intend to begin court proceedings for eviction. Eviction is not the same as activating a break clause.
There are two types of notice that can be served on the tenant:
- A Section 8 notice
Depending on the nature of the tenancy and the amount of rent in arrears, a section 8 notice must be used if the landlord wants to evict the tenant and claim back rent in arrears.
- A Section 21 notice
This will be served where the landlord only wants to evict the tenant, with no intention of claiming back rent in arrears.
On the notice, the landlord must specify the earliest date they will commence proceedings in court, with the current notice periods for eviction shown below.
New Eviction Rules on Notice Periods
Evicting tenants during COVID-19
Following the recent eviction ban in England ending, the courts began considering possession proceedings for private tenancies again. The government has issued guidance on the new rules that will affect the eviction of private tenants during this time.
Can your landlord evict you during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 were extended on 29th August 2020, requiring landlords to provide six months’ notice to their tenants before they can begin court proceedings for eviction. This extension covers most circumstances. However, due to pressure of landlords, the government has provided some exceptions for more serious cases where a landlord can provide less notice.
From 28th August 2020:
- Notice periods on anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, rioting and false statement, have returned to their pre-Coronavirus Act 2020 lengths.
In some cases, this means eviction for anti-social behaviour can be brought immediately after notice has been served. Notice periods on these grounds otherwise vary, depending on the type of tenancy and ground used, between two weeks and one month.
- Where at least six months of rent is unpaid, a four-week notice period will be required. If less than six months of rent is unpaid, the notice period is six months.
A six-month notice period is required for all other grounds. This includes Section 21 notices, which previously meant that tenants had two months to leave the property before the landlord took possession.
If you wish to know any more information regarding eviction law and how the new eviction rules in the UK during Covid-19 could affect you, please contact our disputes team. Our expert solicitors will be glad to discuss your current situation or any queries you have.