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New law: Landlords must now give residential tenants at least three months’ notice to end tenancies under new COVID-19 laws

Landlords planning to end a residential tenancy must factor in a delay of (at least) three months before they may be able to recover possession of their property, compared to the previous notice period of one month, under new COVID-19 related laws.

May 2020

This update was published in Legal Alert - May 2020

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

Landlords of residential properties need to be aware that, since 27 March 2020, they must now give at least three months’ notice before they can end a tenancy of a property, rather than the shorter periods that applied previously. The aim is to prevent tenants who need time to pay because of financial problems caused by COVID-19 from being evicted.

Tenancies affected by the new rules include assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) – the majority of residential tenancies are ASTs - and Rent Act tenancies. The prescribed forms landlords must use to give notice have been updated accordingly.

The requirement to give three months’ notice applies until 30 September 2020, although the government has power to extend this and also to change the notice period to be given.

Possession cases already under way, based on notices already given before the new rules came in, have been suspended for 90 days. Similarly, enforcement of all possession orders already made but not yet enforced has been suspended for 90 days.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendation

  • Landlords planning to end a residential tenancy must factor in a delay of (at least) three months before they may be able to recover possession of their property, compared to the previous notice period of one month.

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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