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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Friday 17 September 2021

TENANCY NOTICE PERIODS: in England, old periods are coming back with new forms


01 October 2021. A Friday. Remember it well. It is the day on which residential landlords in England will be screaming in ecstasy. Those temporary notice periods which were brought in to provide some respite for tenants being booted out during the pandemic for defaulting with their rent or other transgressions - at one time, six months' notice! - are coming to an end and the pre-pandemic notice periods are coming back. When? On 01 October 2021, of course. A Friday. I know you have already remembered that. So it's generally back to at least two months to 14 days' notice depending on the type of tenancy (and for much more on that, take a butchers at my latest book what I wrote 'The Return of Breaking Law'). 

Notices already served and proceedings already underway on the strength of them are unaffected. It is only notices that are given to tenants on or after 01 October 2021 - a Friday - that will be governed by the changes. Some landlords who have more recently given notice to their tenants for the longer temporary periods may well be tempted to withdraw those notices and serve fresh notices on or after 01 October 2021. They will need to get out their diaries and calculate whether they will be better off doing so.

So far, then, a boost for landlords. But a trap too. That's because the prescribed notice forms are changing to reflect the reintroduction of the original notice periods. A landlord who serves an old form on or after 01 October 2021- a Friday - does so at their peril.

The actual new regulations with the new forms are waiting for you at the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies) (Amendment and Suspension) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/994). The forms that change are form 3 for notices under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988, form 6A for notices under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and the part 2 notice under section 83 of the Housing Act 1985 which was given a couple of injections of Botox so very recently (see https://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/2021/08/council-repossessions-in-england-new.html).

I almost forgot. The legislators' right to bring back the longer temporary periods is retained right up to 25 March 2022 just in case too many of you go into Waitrose without a face covering.