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New six-month notice period is introduced

Buy-to-let landlords must now provide tenants with at least six months’ notice period prior to seeking possession through the courts in most cases, including  section 21 evictions and rent arrears under six months.

Legislation relating to the new temporary notice period in England was introduced on Saturday 29 August, and will remain in place until at least 31 March 2021, except in the most serious of cases, such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators.

The package of support for renters includes the extension of notice periods and the extension to the stay on possession proceedings. But there will be help for landlords affected by the worst cases to seek possession; these are:


anti-social behaviour (now 4 weeks’ notice)

  • domestic abuse (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)

  • false statement (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)

  • over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears (now 4 weeks’ notice)

  • breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (now 3 months’ notice)

  • In addition, new court rules have been agreed, which will come into force on 20 September meaning landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings. 

    Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, commented: “We have developed a package of support for renters to ensure they continue to be protected over winter. I have changed the law so that renters are protected by a six month notice period until March 2021.

    “No tenant will have been legally evicted for six months at the height of the pandemic as the stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September. 

    “For the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, notice periods have returned to their normal level, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.

    “These changes will support landlords to progress the priority cases while keeping the public safe over winter.  We will keep these measures under review and decisions will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice.”

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    • Peter Meczes

      " landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings" So now on top of everything else we have to become professional investigators!! How much more are these crass individuals going to load onto us? Will we be paid for doing this work? Will we ever get our lost revenue back? Will we even be told the truth? Once again tenants are being given more power to withhold rent and to manipulate the system to live rent free at our expense!!



    • Bill Wood

      I thought medical circumstances were confidential to the patient.
      So if a landlord asks a tenant about them, the tenant can say anything they like, and the landlord must just accept it.

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      • 01 September 2020 09:56 AM

      The facts are chaps that the Govt wants to put you out of business.

      Everything the Govt does is with this end in mind.
      It is pointless being indignant about these circumstances no matter how justified.

      Govt wants you gone so just go.
      That is what I intend to do.
      You DON'T need tenanted properties to make money from tenants.
      Lodgers provide just as much income.
      So get rid of tenants and rental properties and try for as many 4 bed homes as you can afford.
      Then take in single lodgers.

      Income remains the same and all the tenant issues go away.
      4 bed properties to avoid Mandatory HMO licensing.
      Also avoid buying in Additional Licensing areas

      You just have to stay at least once per month in your multiple homes!


      I see what your'e saying, buy a 4 bed, but it's really 3 as you the landlord will have to have his own room at the property to pull it off, btw on paper sounds good, won't work, staying one night a month isn't living at the property.

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      6 months notice=6 months rent deposit?

      • 01 September 2020 13:03 PM

      Oh we wish!!!
      Nope Govt won't allow that.
      Of course any more than 2 months deposit becomes a Premium Tenancy which no sane LL would want.
      It would breach mortgage conditions for a start.
      Govt should have restricted deposits to maximum of 2 months with an extra deposit separate from Premium Tenancy regulations for pets.


      Terry I find the deposit almost more trouble than its worth particularly when being dictated to by the call centre staff when asking for money for legitimate claims. I still take a deposit because it helps the tenant to focus their minds!! BUT I always take a home owning guarantor. I've succeeded in recovering monies even when a technicality stops me recovering from the official 5 weeks deposit nonsense

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      Can't wait to sell the portfolio and escape the madness... Enough is enough!

      • 01 September 2020 18:21 PM

      I share your sentiments.
      I've been trying to get out since 2015!

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      • 01 September 2020 19:35 PM

      Totally agree.......I have to get rid of 10 of them!!!!!!!!


      Have you considered doing rent to rent

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      The government is bent upon destroying the PRS. I was waiting for things to change to get rid of the tenant and then sell the property. It is all changed. Hopelessness. The government is passing the buck on to the LL, unfortunately.


      You sound like just the person I'm looking for...

      Give me a price, add 5 % for your inconvenience, and we can sign tomorrow morning if you're interested ?

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      • 01 September 2020 22:37 PM


      Nope you are incorrect.
      There is no law which states that a home may only be so if you live there so many days in a month.
      One can live in multiple homes and in those multiple homes an OO may have lodgers.
      There is no restriction as to how many homes one may have and in each of those homes lodgers may be taken in.

      The big issue though is very few LL would be able to convert to resi properties.
      The sale proceeds of at least 4 properties would be needed to buy outright a 4 bed resi property.

      So for many LL achieving multiple homes on resi mortgages or unencumbered remains just a pipedream.

      For many LL with PD rights it makes sense to improve their own properties and take in lodgers.
      But certainly taking on lodgers remains a far better strategy than tenants.

      LL just need to arrange their property circumstances so they are able to live in them.
      Not many LL will be able to have multiple resi homes.

      But it is certainly a doable strategy given the resources.


      Actually, the rights in regards to serving notice on Lodgers that come from the status of a residential landlord creating a non-assured tenancy and the lodger's protection from eviction would require a landlord to be in occupation at the start and end of the tenancy, the rest of the requirements are vague;

      Housing Act 1988 Schedule 1 Tenancies that cannot be assured

      Resident landlords
      10(1)A tenancy in respect of which the following conditions are fulfilled—
      (a)that the dwelling-house forms part only of a building and, except in a case where the dwelling-house also forms part of a flat, the building is not a purpose-built block of flats; and
      (b)that, subject to Part III of this Schedule, the tenancy was granted by an individual who, at the time when the tenancy was granted, occupied as his only or principal home another dwelling-house which,—
      (i)in the case mentioned in paragraph (a) above, also forms part of the flat; or
      (ii)in any other case, also forms part of the building; and
      (c)that, subject to Part III of this Schedule, at all times since the tenancy was granted the interest of the landlord under the tenancy has belonged to an individual who, at the time he owned that interest, occupied as his only or principal home another dwelling-house which,—
      (i)in the case mentioned in paragraph (a) above, also formed part of the flat; or
      (ii)in any other case, also formed part of the building; and
      (d)that the tenancy is not one which is excluded from this sub-paragraph by sub-paragraph (3) below.

      …. It continues on but that’s the main bit


      Protection From Eviction Act 1977 s.3A (3)

      (3)A tenancy or licence is also excluded if—
      (a)under its terms the occupier shares any accommodation with a member of the family of the landlord or licensor;
      (b)immediately before the tenancy or licence was granted and also at the time it comes to an end, the member of the family of the landlord or licensor occupied as his only or principal home premises of which the whole or part of the shared accommodation formed part; and
      (c)immediately before the tenancy or licence was granted and also at the time it comes to an end, the landlord or licensor occupied as his only or principal home premises in the same building as the shared accommodation and that building is not a purpose-built block of flats.

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      Do these new rules only apply if you want to evict? So if you seek to possess after an annual contract the usual notice time applies?

      Matthew Payne

      No they apply to all tenancies where notice not served already by 29 August. Depending on who to believe, the optimists have the forecasted winter Covid deaths at 80,000, the pessimists, 250,000. Then consider how many infections that is. HMG doesnt want anyone to fear homlessness when hundreds of thousands of tenants are going to get infected irrespective of the technicalities of fixed terms, SPs etc.


      Then all HMG needs to do is to pay the rent directly to the landlords and recover it from tenants over time. Landlords and courts could then focus on evictions for anti social reasons etc. - helping everyone except the problem tenants who usually also make problem neighbours.


      No Robert, we have a system... and, as part of that system, you have your "well deserved CCJ".

      Unless you're not happy with the system, in which case the CCJ is not so well deserved after all ?

      You can complain, or you can have the well deserved CCJ... but you can't have both - that is called "having your cake and eating it" ?

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      There is no cake, there is no system its dysfunctional.


      but... but, I thought you were satisfied with the 'richly deserved CCJ' ?

      Now, you're not feeling so satisfied ?.. or do we need to wait until tomorrow, see which side of the bed you roll out of ?

    • Sandra Grears

      Omg i have a tenent who has trashed my property and i am working wiyh council to do repairs but looks like im stuck with them for another 6 months at least they are already 3 months in arrears with rent tomorrow will probably make it 4 months 😡


      Sounds like your tenant gave you a choice - punctuation or rent... and you lost on both options ?

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      Sadly Sandra you've got what you have got, we have all been there , what you must not do is let this scum wear you down, they are not worth it, you will be rid at some point and you will be very careful next time you let, most tenants are as good as gold, make sure you get a CCJ against them before they go , trust me revenge is sweet.


      Anyone successfully completed a CCJ since the COVID-19 pandemic started ?


      @ Seb, thankfully I have not needed to go down that route since the start covid, but I see no reason for a money claim on line not to be successful, the law is saying we cannot evict it does not say we cannot go after money owed a court would have no option if the money is owed would it ?


      Andrew, aside from your, "but I see no reason for a money claim on line not to be successful"...

      Forgive me for repeating the question, "Anyone successfully completed a CCJ since the COVID-19 pandemic started ?"

      Of course, if you've ever successfully completed a CCJ, then you would understand why I'm asking the question.

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      • 02 September 2020 23:01 PM


      Most R2R is fraudulent.
      Very few mortgage lenders allow it.

      Also why would a LL use somebody to do what he can do.
      Namely letting a property.
      R2R is mostly a fraudulent enterprise so not to be used by LL

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      I have overseas tenants who left UK in May and returned back to their home country and they have not returned back to UK. The tenants are continuing paying the rent although I had some issue at the begining to demand reducing the rent because they had to return back to their home country but I told them they can terminate the contract but they have to pay the full rent till end of contract period so they decided to continue paying the rent. However, the tenancy agreement will come to end in November and I want to knowt what would happen if they don't come back and stop paying the rent. they left their belonging and their car in flat. What is the option for people like me as the six months is for tenant who actualy living in the UK not those who returned back to thier home country becasue of COVID


      If they are still paying you don't really have a problem, maybe serve a section 21 when the tenancy comes to an end just to cover your back, if they do come back to uk you can always cancel the section 21

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      R2R is fraudulent I had 5 such contacts today, it is so wide spread and come across it many times, one guy said in his message today he didn't want to waste his time or mine, he said he would take the house and sublet the rooms which was very noble of him, He wanted to rent my house make soft money illegally out of it, fantastic so he don't own the house or pay a Mortgage & if it goes wrong he can walk away + like the man said validate your Insurance. Last year a guy came to me trying to rent a Flat same thing, couldn't understand why I would not give it to him and told me he had 46 properties already this way. That's what the regulators have done to private sector housing putting us on the back foot completely.

      • 21 September 2020 21:07 PM

      Yep good LL are up against it with criminal tenants.
      Personally I'm leaning towards a National LL licence scheme.
      So NO legal letting without a valid licence number.

      Not a perfect solution of course because criminal LL won't register.
      But most good ones will leaving the Council to track down the criminals.

      I'd hate to pay a licence fee but it should be one no matter how many properties owned.
      LL really are up against it.
      I'm surprised that you have become a victim of these criminals.
      Just shows it can happen even to experienced LL.

      Most R2R is indeed fraud but Councils don't seem to be doing much to combat the illegal ones.

      Not an easy situation to control.

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      Hi, I haven't become a victim yet anyhow but I am acutely aware of whats going on. Many of those R2R guys uses a Ltd company and also I know many letting Agents use them, as far as the customer is aware the Agent found them a Company Let and are content with that. However in essences its a rent 2 rent scam for sure but I suspect many LL don't know this and are unknowingly participating in the schemes.

      • 22 September 2020 02:36 AM

      What would the position of an insurer if a fraudulent R2R operation burnt down leaving a hole in the ground!?

      This could bankrupt the LL.

      Most insurers would wriggle out of any claim.

      Leaving the LL with a possible mortgage but no property.

      • 22 September 2020 02:41 AM

      Yep one reason why I won't use LA.
      Corporate lets are mostly in breach of lender conditions.
      Certain LL would need CTL for corporate letting.
      There are very few bona fide R2R operations.


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