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Evicting your tenant

Coronavirus: Landlords and Renters

The government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

  • From 26 March 2020 landlords will have to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession. This means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period.
  • From 27 March 2020 the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action. This means that neither cases currently in the system nor any about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted.
  • Tenants are still liable for their rent and should pay this as usual. If they face financial hardship and struggle to pay this, support is available and we would encourage tenants and landlords to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme.
  • Landlords will also be protected by a 3 month mortgage payment holiday where they have a Buy to Let mortgages.
  • Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. An agreement for non-urgent repairs to be done later should be made between tenants and landlords. Local authorities are also encouraged to take a pragmatic, risk-based approach to enforcement.

Disclaimer:- The responsibility for finding out how to manage any tenancy within the law lies with the landlord.  If a landlord needs advice about any aspect of the law then they should contact an independent legal advisor.  The Council is not a legal advisor and any comments it provides are not a substitute for legal advice.  Therefore the Council does not accept liability for any errors arising when landlords use the Council's website. 

Please see important information about illegal eviction.

For landlords commencing the necessary research they need to carry out in order to fulfil their responsibilities, the Government's web pages provide some basic information on tenancy law and how to serve Section 21 or Section 8 Notices.  Landlords may also like to refer to other relevant Council web pages.  Most notices are served under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988*.

Examples of why Section 21 Notices are often invalid include:-

Another important reason why a court might dismiss a landlord’s claim for possession is:-

*The criteria for a valid Section 21 Notice don’t all apply to a Section 8 Notice.  Also, Section 21 Notices don't require the landlord to state grounds for repossession, but Section 8 does require grounds to be provided in court.  The notice periods for Section 8 Notices are given on the mandatory prescribed form for Section 8 Notices. 

Whether a possession order is granted under Section 21 or Section 8, if the tenant doesn't leave after the notice period, and the landlord still wishes to repossess the property, the landlord must ask the court for possession.

Please feel free to contact the Landlord Relationship Manager if you would like to talk over any of the above examples.  In practice the examples given are not comprehensive – each case is different, which is why it is essential for landlords to find out the law themselves and to seek independent legal advice.

Contact: Landlord Relationship Manager: landlordrelations@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk - 01283 508149