Notice periods return to pre-pandemic levels in England with new Section 21 and 8 forms required

10 September 2021

After more than 18 months of disruption, notice periods have reverted to their pre-pandemic levels from 1 October 2021, with new versions of Section 21 and Section 8 notice forms for agents and landlords.

Notice periods in England had been set at four-months in all but the most serious cases since June 2021, but have now returned to normal levels. In Wales, extended notice periods of six months will still apply until 31 December 2021, and in Scotland six month notice periods will last until 31 March 2022 - both with some exceptions. With a backlog of cases to be heard, the Chancellor also announced £324 million of funding for the courts over the next three years in his Autumn Budget 2021, to help alleviate this pressure on the system and speed up the claim to repossession process.

Letting agents and landlords in England are also advised that there are new prescribed forms to complete for Section 8 and Section 21 notices for landlords and letting agents to use from 1 October 2021. Any notices served using old versions of the forms will be considered invalid.

According to Propertymark, the government "intends to retain the power to implement any similar measures again in the future should the public health situation worsen. To this end, legislation has been tabled that retains the ability for the UK Government to reapply longer notice periods until 25 March 2022 as a backstop."

The government confirmed to Propertymark that the guidance would be updated ahead of 1 October 2021 to reflect that notice periods will be reverting to their pre-pandemic levels. 

A statement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government obtained by Letting Agent Today says that, "while these measures were appropriate at the height of the pandemic, these restrictions could only ever be temporary. Returning notice periods to their pre-Covid lengths from 1 October will allow landlords to repossess their property where necessary.”

This article is intended as a guide only. It is not exhaustive and does not constitute legal advice. For more information, please refer to gov.uk.

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