Lawyers at one of the region’s top law firms say they have been astounded to receive calls from self-employed people who are being threatened with eviction for non-payment of rent they simply cannot find whilst awaiting the promised end of May government aid.
“Even though the government enacted new legislation in the form of The Coronavirus Act 2020, which came into force on 28th March to protect tenants struggling to keep up with their rent during the pandemic, some heavy-handed landlords are still threatening eviction,” says Rod Waters, a Senior Solicitor with GHP Legal.
“However, tenants should be reassured that, despite what their landlord may tell them, the statutory notice period for all common types of tenancies, including Assured Shorthold Tenancies, Assured Tenancies and Rent Act 1997 Tenancies, has been extended to three months.
“Landlords are now required to give no less than three months’ notice to tenants, irrespective of whether the notice relates to a fault-based eviction (Section 8 notices) or a no-fault eviction (Section 21 notices). The new three-month notice period will remain in place until 30th September 2020.
“If tenants fall into rent arrears and are served with a valid Section 8 notice, they can rest assured their landlord cannot currently apply to the Courts to seek an Order for Possession within three months of the date they receive the notice. They should however be aware that they will remain liable for the rent due under their tenancy agreement and will still be vulnerable to eviction if arrears are not paid by the end of the notice period.”