Long-awaited good news for landlords as rules relaxed

9th June 2021

Long-awaited good news for landlords as rules relaxed

Nyree Applegarth, Property Litigation lead at Higgs & Sons, looks at some welcome news for hamstrung residential landlords

Finally, some good news for residential landlords in England.

After what feels like an eternity, the emergency Covid-related protections that the Government put in place for residential tenants are starting to be relaxed. 

The rules were brought in to protect tenants from becoming homeless as unemployment rose due to lockdowns.

Probably sensible, but it’s meant landlords have had their hands tied for the last year and have been forced to give six-month notice periods to tenants if they needed them to move out.

From 1 June, the six-month notice period reduced to only four months.  In a case where there is four or more months of unpaid rent, then from 1 August 2021, a landlord only needs to give two months’ notice to start the termination process. 

The ban on enforcing warrants of possession was extended in March until the end of May 2021 but that ban ended on 31 May so bailiffs can finally start making inroads into the huge backlog.  

Announcing the move, housing minister Christopher Pincher said the move would “ensure tenants continue to be supported with longer notice periods, while also balancing the need for landlords to access justice."

I still think it is going to take two years or so to get on top of the significant amount of cases that have been on hold but at least the changes show encouraging signs to residential landlords that things are starting to return to pre-pandemic normalities.



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