Project: Empower

» Coronavirus – Renting and Evictions

31 August 2020

1. NO EVICTION WITHOUT A COURT ORDER

For most tenants, you cannot be evicted without your landlord serving a notice, going to court and using a court bailiff.

Anything short of the above is likely to be UNLAWFUL!

Please seek legal advice if your landlord tries or threatens to evict you without a court order.

2. EXTENDED NOTICE PERIODS

Landlords must generally serve a notice before starting a claim for possession.

Since 26 March 2020, most tenants have been entitled to a 3 month notice period. This includes if you’re a:

  • council or housing association tenant
  • private renter who gets a s.21 or s.8 notice

From 29 August 2020, most notices will have to be at least 6 months. Landlords can give a shorter notice where tenants are in more than 6 months’ rent arrears or where there is antisocial behaviour. This does not affect notices served before 29 August 2020. You can find the government’s announcement on GOV.UK.

If you have been given a notice by your landlord, please seek immediate legal advice!

3. POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS ON HOLD

A pause has been placed on all possession proceedings until at least 20 September 2020.

If you have an existing possession claim or your landlord is planning on issuing a claim for possession, please seek legal advice.

4. RENT ARREARS

Tenants should continue to pay their rent. Any rent arrears that have accrued during the pause on possession proceedings can still be used to evict you after the pause has been lifted.

For housing association and private tenants, you must NOT let your rent arrears go over 8 weeks!

If you are struggling to pay your rent, please write to your landlord and try and agree to a payment plan. You should also seek debt and housing advice!

5. SECTION 21

Private landlords can generally rely on a s.21 notice to start a claim for possession. Although, all claims are currently on pause.

Your landlord does not need a reason to rely on a s.21 notice. If the s.21 notice is valid, possession will generally be granted.

Please seek immediate legal advice regarding the validity of any s.21 notices!

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