We are recommending that landlords suspend or delay evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic in line with Government Guidance. Due to Covid-19 there is uncertainty on when eviction proceedings will be allowed to recommence. The notice period you set out in this notice may be extended due to changes made by the Government in response to the pandemic. Failure to comply with this extended notice period may result in your notice being invalidated.
What is an eviction notice?
As a landlord, there may be times when you need to give your residential tenants a notice to vacate your property. This may be because their tenancy is coming to the end of its term, because you need your property back from a tenant on a rolling tenancy, or when a tenant has breached the tenancy agreement by causing damage or not paying their rent.
An eviction notice informs tenants that their tenancy is going to end and the landlord is going to take repossession of the property.
Why do I need an eviction notice?
In these situations make sure you use the correct eviction notice to vacate to legally evict tenants as there are different types of notices.
Use these eviction notices when you want to regain possession of your property. Answer a few simple questions to create your eviction notice.
What type of notice should I use?
There are two ways of repossessing property - section 21 and section 8 notice.
Section 21 Notice
You should use this section 21 notice (known as Form 6A in England) to gain possession of a rented property when the property is let under an assured shorthold tenancy (AST).
You can also use a section 21 notice for a rolling tenancy when the tenant has failed to pay rent for several months. You can also serve a section 21 notice if you want to end the tenancy on a no-fault basis.
If the tenant and property are located in England you should use a Section 21 (Form 6A) notice in England.
If the tenant and property are located in Wales you should use a Section 21 notice for Wales.
Section 8 Notice
You can use Section 8 notice to evict tenants who are in breach of their tenancy agreement. It can be served during the fixed-term where there are specific reasons. These are also known as “grounds” for possession. These include situations where tenants have not paid their rent or caused damage to the property, for example. You can rely on multiple grounds of possession for rent arrears, if applicable.
Using the correct notice will help to ensure that you take possession of the property safely and legally.
These eviction notices should not be used in Scotland. If you require an eviction notice for Scotland, Ask a lawyer.
How much notice should I give the tenant?
If you use a section 21 notice, you must give the tenant a minimum notice of 2 months. This means the tenant must physically receive the notice 2 months before they have to move out.
If you use a section 8 notice this will depend on the ground you base the notice on. For example, two weeks notice is required for grounds 8, 10 and 11.
Please note that if you plan to serve the notice before 31 March 2021, you must typically give the tenants at least six months’ notice under the Coronavirus Act 2020, in England and Wales. Please note that these dates may be extended by the Government.
For further information read Tenant eviction.
What does the Coronavirus Act 2020 mean for me?
The Act has increased the notice period required for section 8 and section 21 eviction notices in most circumstances, to six months during the ‘relevant period’. In England, this refers to the period from 29 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 and may be extended by the Government. In Wales, this refers to the period between the 24 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 and may be extended by the Government.
This means that in most cases you must give the tenants at least six months’ notice. The main exception to this is where the tenant is in more than six months' rent arrears and you wish to evict them using a section 8 notice. Where this is the case, you must give the tenant at least four weeks' notice. If the tenants don’t leave the property by the date specified in the notice, then you can apply to the court for a possession order. You can’t force your tenants to leave without a court order.
From the 27 March onwards, all eviction proceedings will be suspended until the 20 September 2020 and the Government has urged landlords not to start or continue any eviction proceedings during this time without a good reason.
Who is covered by the suspension of possession claims?
All tenants and licensees that are protected under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 will be protected by the Coronavirus Act 2020.
This includes most tenants in social housing and residential properties and some licensees, but excludes lodgers, holiday lets, and asylum seeker accommodations.
I issued an eviction notice before the Coronavirus Act 2020 was implemented, what will this mean?
As all court proceedings have been suspended until the 20 September, you can’t begin or continue eviction proceedings unless you have a good reason. While eviction notices issued before the 27 March are not affected by the new notice requirement, eviction proceedings will be subject to the suspension. As such, you should be mindful of your tenants’ situation and can’t expect them to move out.