Landlords will need to give most tenants four months’ notice to vacate a property from 1 June - down from the current six months.
The housing minister, Christopher Pincher has announced the move, aimed at continuing to support people affected by the pandemic as coronavirus restrictions are eased.
The notice period for gaining possession of a property was increased to six months during the first lockdown, as an emergency measure. Subject to public health advice, and the progress of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October.
The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, also introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, will end on 31 May as planned, giving private landlords, who are struggling with tenant arrears, better access to the justice system. Bailiffs will not carry out evictions where someone at the property has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.
Shorter notice periods will remain in place where a landlord is seeking possession because of anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse. Here, notice periods range from immediate eviction to four weeks.
Mr Pincher said: “From the beginning of the pandemic, we have taken unprecedented action to protect renters and help keep them in their homes. As Covid restrictions are eased in line with the roadmap out of lockdown, we will ensure tenants continue to be supported with longer notice periods, while also balancing the need for landlords to access justice.”
The government has also announced that it will publish a white paper on renter reforms this autumn. The paper will include proposals for the abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and details of the proposed ‘lifetime deposit’, which tenants can take with them when they move house.
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