April 3, 2020

New advice on Coronavirus is issued every day. As part of their commitment to the British public, the UK Government are offering support to both landlords and tenants.

The UK Government has published some general guidance for landlords that includes specific information on their obligations to tenants.

Terry Jones is providing the most up to date information and advice to our landlord clients, helping them navigate the changing landscape of government guidance and legislation.

I’m a landlord – what do I need to know?

There are some temporary changes in The Coronavirus Act 2020 regarding notices, court proceedings and evictions.

The new legislation states that:

  • New notice periods for both section 8 and section 21 notices. Landlords must now give at least 3 months’ notice to tenants on all notices served on or before 30th September 2020, however, this may later be extended;
  • All possession proceedings already issued at Court will automatically be subject to a 90-day stay, irrespective of the reasons why possession is sought in those proceedings. As a result of this, no further steps can be taken in those proceedings until at least 25th June 2020;
  • The government has asked landlords not to serve notices or begin/continue with Court proceedings unless there is a very good reason to do so. Although, at this moment in time, this is a request and not contained in the legislation;
  • The Courts have been instructed to prioritise tenants’ applications to suspend warrants and not to make any Orders that could be detrimental to public health. This means that even if a Landlord managed to obtain a Bailiff appointment, if the Tenant made an application to suspend it, they would be listed as priority and it could mean that the Courts are more likely to grant the suspension to prevent movement of people.

Within the new guidance there is a useful section for Landlords in relation to access for repairs etc, whilst movement of people is restricted.

The government is also working on extending the Pre-Action Protocol for social landlords to private landlords, but as yet this has not been confirmed.

You can find the latest government guidance for Landlords and Tenants here.

Legal support for landlords

Our sector-leading specialist landlord team can be reached on 01743 218470 or on email landlordandtenant@terry-jones.co.uk.

In line with government advice and to protect the well being of our clients and colleagues, we have made the move to remote working for the majority of our staff. However, we remain available for advice and guidance for the duration of this crisis.

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