Covid-19: Landlord Legislation Update

Extended Section 21 Notice Periods

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has confirmed that it is to extend the evictions ban in England until the 20th of September 2020, and will also introduce six-month long notice periods that will run until the 31st of March 2021.

The ban, which was announced in March as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, was to end on the 23rd of August, with some cases due to be heard immediately at the newly approved Nightingale courts. It has also been confirmed that once the courts do re-open, only serious cases such as those involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse will be prioritised.

Now that the ban on evictions has been extended, the Government must use this time to introduce further guidance and prepare the sector. It is important to take steps back towards normality so that both landlords and tenants have access to the justice system while putting measures in place to offer further support to tenants who have built up COVID-related arrears and this four-week extension will give Government the time to introduce such measures.

Timothy Douglas, ARLA Propertymark

MHCLG has advised landlords to work with tenants who are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic and consider all possible options – such as flexible payment plans which take into account both parties’ circumstances – to ensure cases only end up in court as an absolute last resort.

Landlords must disclose impact of COVID-19 on tenant

Those cases which do make it to court will be affected by new rules requiring landlords in England and Wales seeking possession of their properties to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances.

This information includes what effect COVID-19 has had on a tenant’s vulnerability or whether they are claiming benefits – information should also be provided on how the pandemic has affected a tenant’s dependents, if they have any. However, the rules do not require agents or landlords to actively seek out information but merely to make the court aware of what information is known.

The rules do not change the regulations around possession for landlords and they do not amend Section 21 claims or Section 8 arrears claims. What is changing is some of the steps that landlords must follow if they want to apply for possession through the courts.


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With landlords now needing to comply with nearly 150 pieces of law, it has never been more important for your tenancy to be managed by a knowledgeable, professional and regulated agency.

For guidance on all aspects of tenancy management, or if you are considering letting your property in Bath, contact us on 01225 445777 or info@residebath.co.uk.


Toby Martin

Toby holds a Level 3 ARLA Propertymark qualification and runs the 'engine room' at Reside, making sure that properties are perfectly-presented and that they are let quickly at a good rent. When not working, Toby is happiest when enjoying a day's cricket.