UPDATED: Notice periods for rent arrears of less than four months reduced to two months

9 August 2021

Notice periods for cases where there are rent arrears of less than four months have reduced to two months in England from 1 August 2021, with the notice period for arrears of more than four months remaining at four weeks.

The situation with Covid-19 is rapidly changing and this article will continue to be updated throughout. For the latest guidelines, please refer to gov.uk.

Notice periods for cases where there are rent arrears of less than four months have reduced to two months in England from 1 August 2021. The notice period for "serious arrears" is four weeks’ notice, with "serious arrears" defined as four or more months of unpaid rent.

The four-month notice periods in other cases are expected to remain in place until 30 September 2021, when they will drop to two months. Courts will continue to prioritise the most serious cases, such as those involving fraud or anti-social behaviour, with many of the evictions waiting to be enforced when the ban lifts predating the pandemic. Notice periods for the most serious cases will remain lower. These include:

  • anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)
    domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • false statement (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)
  • breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (2 weeks’ notice)
  • death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)

Download free email and questionnaire templates to help you manage missed rent and set up payment plans

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said that the government "will ensure tenants continue to be supported with longer notice periods, while also balancing the need for landlords to access justice. Crucial financial support also remains in place including the furlough scheme and uplift to Universal Credit."

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