Lettings is our business, not just part of it!

The UK Government has today announced that from 1st June 2021, notice periods in England that are currently 6 months, will reduce to at least 4 months.

Question: Whether you can re-serve a Section 21 Notice after the 31st May to reduce notice period?  “The answer may be “no”. There is a concept in English law which suggests that if a landlord does something – for example serves a notice – and the tenant relies on that to his detriment, then the landlord cannot change his position.  The principle is called estoppel.     “It could apply where a tenant received a 6 month notice, made arrangements to view other properties appropriate to that Notice and incurred expenses as a result. If a second Section 21 notice expired before the original 6 month deadline, a tenant could argue that the second notice was effectively invalid.

Notice periods for the most serious cases will remain lower:

  • anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • false statement (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)
  • breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (2 weeks’ notice)
  • death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)  

Notice periods for cases where there is less than four months’ of unpaid rent, will reduce to two months’ notice from 1 August.  This is to support both landlords and tenants and responds to the greater difference between COVID and pre-COVID notice periods for rent arrears.

The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, will end on 31 May.

Measures are being adopted as part of a phased approach and longer notice periods will remain in place until at least October.

Housing Minister Chris Pincher stated that “Subject to the public health advice and progress with the Roadmap, notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1st October 2021. The measures will ensure renters continue to be protected with longer notice periods for the coming months, while allowing landlords to access justice – 45% of private landlords own just one property and are highly vulnerable to rent arrears.”