The government has changed the law to increase notice periods to six months and confirmed that possession proceedings will resume on 21 September 2020. The only exceptions to the six-month notice period are the most egregious cases, including where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or committed fraud, where notice periods have been shortened. In these cases, "notice periods must be at least 4 weeks where over six months of rent is due (if less than 6 months is owed, then 6 months’ notice must be given)." A "winter truce" on evictions also means that no evictions will take place between 11 December 2020 and 11 January 2021.
In addition, the government has announced a "winter truce" on the enforcement of evictions, meaning no evictions will be permitted in England and Wales in the run up to and over Christmas except in the most serious circumstances.
Tenants are still liable for their rent during this time and should pay this as usual. If tenants are facing financial hardship and think they will have difficulty making a rental payment, they should speak to their landlord in the first instance. The government is encouraging tenants and landlords to work together to put in place a rent payment plan. However, there is other support available for tenants facing financial difficulties:
This article is intended as a guide only, it is not exhaustive, and does not constitute legal advice. See gov.uk more information.
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