The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020
There are new regulations that suspend and amend Schedule 29 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. These regulations were laid before Parliament on 28 August 2020 and came into force on 29 August 2020. All new possession notices will now have to comply with the extended notice periods. These regulations will be applicable to notices served between 29 August 2020 and 31 March 2021.
Regulation 4 states that the new time periods do not apply to any notices served before 29 August 2020. This means that the new notice periods do not have retrospective effect. The new notice periods are detailed in Regulation 3. It is important to bear in mind that the new regulations do not provide for a blanket extension across all tenure types and we set out below the nuances brought around by the new regulations for each tenancy type and grounds that may be relied upon.
Notices served on Ground 1: Four weeks’ notice required if there is at least six months’ unpaid rent at the date of service of the notice and provided that no other grounds (with the exception of ground 2ZA, 2A or 5) are relied upon.
Notices served on Ground 2: Reverts to pre-Coronavirus Act 2020 position and the notice can state that proceedings may begin immediately.
Notices served on Grounds 2ZA, 2A or 5: Four weeks’ notice required if no other grounds are relied upon (with the exception of Ground 1).
Notices served pursuant to section 83Z: Reverts to pre-Coronavirus Act 2020 position – 28 days’ or one month’s notice required.
Notices served on any other Grounds: Six months’ notice is required.
Notices served on Grounds 1-6, 9, 12, 13, 15 or 16: A six month notice period must be given.
Notices served on Grounds 7 and 7B: Three months’ notice must be given, provided that no other grounds (with the exception of 7A and 14) are relied upon.
Notices served on Ground 7A: Reverts to pre-Coronavirus Act 2020 position even if pleaded with other grounds. Notice required is 28 days’ or one month’s notice as applicable.
Notices served on Grounds 8, 10 and 11: Six months’ notice period if the level of rent arrears is less than six months at the date of service of the notice. Four weeks’ notice period if there are at least six months of rent arrears at the date of service of the notice provided that the notice does not also rely upon grounds 1-6, 9, 12, 13, 15 or 16.
Notices served on Ground 14: Reverts to pre-Coronavirus Act position even if pleaded with other grounds. The notice can state that proceedings may begin immediately.
Notices served on Grounds 14A, 14ZA and 17: Two weeks’ notice must be given, provided that no other grounds (with the exception of 7A and 14) are relied upon.
Assured Shorthold Tenancies
Section 21 Notices must give six months’ notice. The regulations have also extended the validity of the section 21 notice and proceedings must now be issued within ten months of the date of service.
Introductory Tenancies & Demoted Tenancies
Notices served for reasons of ASB: Four weeks’ notice required (whether or not the notice also includes other reasons)
Notices served for any other reason: Six months’ notice required.
Rent Act Tenancies & Statutory Tenancies
Notices served on ASB grounds (Case 2) or where there are more than six months’ of rent arrears: Four weeks’ notice (whether or not additional grounds are relied upon).
Notice served on immigration status grounds (Case 10A): Three months’ notice required provided no other grounds are included.
Notices served on any other Ground: Six months’ notice required.
Six months’ notice is required. The regulations do not provide for any exceptions.
Attention has to be given to the notice periods for each tenure of tenancy as combining grounds that have shorter notices periods with those that require six months’ notice will (in most, but not all circumstances) exclude the shorter notice period.
Specific consideration will also need to be given where a notice providing for a three month notice period has already been given but a shorter notice period is now available and we recommend specific legal advice is taken in such cases. It is also worth bearing in mind that a notice to quit time period has not been extended at all.