John Szepietowski considers the recent government announcement concerning evictions

On 10th March 2021, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced a further extension to the ban on residential evictions and the requirement for landlords to provide six-month notice periods to tenants before they evict.

The initial ban on evictions in England was introduced at the start of the pandemic, previous extensions pushed the end date to 31st March 2021, the new extension will now be in place until 31st May 2021. The United Kingdom government outlines that measures will be kept under review in line with the latest public health advice.

The United Kingdom government will consider the best approach to move away from emergency protections from the beginning of June, taking into account public health advice and the wider roadmap.

During the period up to 31st May, enforcement agents may not carry out residential evictions or serve notice of eviction unless the order for possession is made:

  1. Against trespassers pursuant to a claim to which rule 55.6 (service of claims against trespassers) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998(2) applies.
  2. Wholly or partly under section 84A (absolute ground for possession for anti-social behaviour) of the Housing Act 1985.
  3. Wholly or partly on ground 2, 2A or 5 of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988.
  4. Wholly or partly on ground 7 of schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988- the enforcement agent must take reasonable steps to ensure the residential premises are empty before serving notice or enforcing the writ/warrant of possession.
  5. Wholly or partly on ground 7A, 14, 14A or 17 of schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985.
  6. Wholly or partly on case 2 of schedule 15 of the Rent Act 1977.
  7. Where there are substantial rent arrears. ‘Substantial arrears’ has been defined as arrears equating to six months’ rent arrears in England only. This exclusion does not apply in Wales.

Notice Period

A key change which has been brought into force is the notice period that must be given to tenants when serving notices seeking possession, for both Section 8 and Section 21 Notices, per the Housing Act 1988. The government made regulations extending the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020, meaning that from 29 August 2020 until 31 March 2021, landlords would not be able to start possession proceedings in most circumstances unless they had given their tenants six months’ notice. The requirement for landlords to provide six-month notice periods to tenants before they evict will be extended until at least 31 May 2021, meaning that most tenants now served notice can stay in the property until at least December 2021.

Commercial Landlord remedies

In addition to the government announcement on residential evictions, on 10 March 2021, the government announced that the moratorium on commercial landlord remedies will be extended to 30 June 2021.

This is despite the government having stated that in December 2020 that the extension to 31 March 2021 would be the final extension to the moratorium, which covers the forfeiture of a lease, commercial rent arrears recovery, winding up petitions and statutory demands.

If you believe that you will be impacted by the change or whether you desire further information on this topic, please contact John Szepietowski at Audley Chaucer Solicitors on 01372 303444 or email us at or visit our Linkedin page.


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