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Important Changes to Notice Periods and Procedure for Residential Possession Claims

Important Changes to Notice Periods and Procedure for Residential Possession Claims

| Published on October 29, 2020

An article, mainly benefiting Landlords, briefly setting out the extended notice periods and some additional requirements, for claiming possession of residential property from tenants in England.

For Housing Act 1988 section 8 notices (England)

In respect of assured and assured shorthold tenancies of properties, the notice period to be given before possession proceedings can be commenced as specified in a section 8 notice under the HA 1988, which was served in the Relevant Period from 26 March 2020 to 28 August 2020, was increased to three months.

From 29 August 2020 the Relevant Period was extended until 31 March 2021 and the required notice periods for most residential possession notices, increased from three to six months unless one of the exceptions apply, the most notable of which is, where at least six months’ rent is unpaid at the time the notice is served the notice period is four weeks.

For Housing Act 1988 section 21 notices (England)

In respect of assured shorthold tenancies, the minimum notice period to be given in a section 21 notice under the HA 1988 served during the Relevant Period was originally increased from two months to three months.

However, following the extension of the Relevant Period the minimum notice period increased to six months, and extended the period in which possession proceedings must be commenced under section 21(4D) to ten months from the date on which the notice was given.

Accordingly, the minimum notice to be given in a section 21 notice that is served in the period from 29 August 2020 to 31 March 2021, is now six months.

New CPR Practice Direction 55C

The expiry of the postponement on possession proceedings came into effect on 20 September 2020.

Following on from this, a new Practice Direction 55C was introduced to the Civil Procedure Rules, which brought in various requirements for claims when the postponement expired.

In relation to a postponed possession claim brought before 3 August 2020 this includes a “reactivation notice”, stating that they wish the case to be listed. For possession claims (new or postponed) brought on or after 3 August 2020 in addition this includes, a notice setting out the knowledge that Landlords have as to the effect of COVID-19 on the defendant and their dependants.

Contact our experts for further advice

For further advice, please contact Matt Hills who is in our Dispute Resolution Team in the Poole office. Phone him on 01202 725400, or email m.hills@hklaw.uk. Humphries Kirk LLP has offices in WarehamDorchesterParkstoneBournemouthPooleSwanage and Crewkerne.

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