POSSESSIONS UPDATE

1 October 2021

Possession notice periods will return to pre-covid dates.

New forms for Section 21 (Form 6A) and Section 8 (Form 3) Notices will come into effect.

Make sure you always use the most up-to-date version of any form.

Section 21 Notice

2 months notice (remember paperwork must be correct and tenant must have been in the property for at least four months of a six month tenancy).  The date for the tenancy to cease must not predate before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy.

Section 8 Notices

Ground 1

2 months notice The date for the tenancy to cease must not predate before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy.

Ground 2

2 months notice The date for the tenancy to cease must not predate before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy.

Ground 3

2 weeks

Ground 4

2 weeks

Ground 5

2 months notice The date for the tenancy to cease must not predate before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy.

Ground 6

2 months notice The date for the tenancy to cease must not predate before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy.

Ground 7a

(anti-social behaviour with a conviction) – One calendar month

Ground 7b

2 weeks

2 months notice The date for the tenancy to cease must not predate before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy.

Ground 8

(Rent Arrears Ground) 2 weeks

Ground 9

2 months notice The date for the tenancy to cease must not predate before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy.

Ground 10

(Rent Arrears Ground) 2 weeks

Ground 11

(Rent Arrears Ground) 2 weeks

Ground 12

2 weeks

Ground 13

2 weeks

Ground 14

(Discretionary ground for anti-social behaviour): Immediately after the notice counts as served (usually 24 hours)

Ground 14A

2 weeks

Ground 15

2 weeks

Ground 16

2 months notice The date for the tenancy to cease must not predate before the end of the fixed term of the tenancy.

Ground 17

2 weeks

Notices served before 1 October 2021 will comply with the current regulations. 

Landlords may, therefore, prefer to wait for the changes on 1 October to come into force before downloading a form and serving notice on tenants

Ruth Clarke

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SUPPORTING GAS SAFETY WEEK 13—19 SEPTEMBER

TOP TEN TIPS TO HELP KEEP YOU SAFE AND WARM IN YOUR HOME

Only use a Gas Safe registered engineer to fit, fix and service your appliances. You can find and check an engineer at GasSafeRegister.co.uk or call 0800 408 5500.

· Check both sides of your engineer’s Gas Safe Register ID card. Make sure they are qualified for the work you need doing. You can find this information on the back of the card.

· Have all your gas appliances regularly serviced and safety checked every year. If you rent your home ask for a copy of the landlord’s current Gas Safety Record.

· Know the six signs of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. Unsafe gas appliances can put you at risk of CO poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.

· Check gas appliances for warning signs that they are not working properly e.g. lazy yellow flames instead of crisp blue ones, black marks or stains on or around the appliance and too much condensation in the room.

· Fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm. This will alert you if there is carbon monoxide in your home.

· Keep vents and chimneys clear. Make sure you don’t block any vents, as they are vital to ensure gas appliances burn properly, and chimneys need to be cleaned and checked regularly. 

· Use gas appliances only for their intended purpose. Don’t be tempted to use them for something they weren’t meant for (e.g. using a gas cooker to heat a room).

· Know the emergency procedure. If you smell gas or suspect immediate danger, make sure you familiarise yourself with the emergency procedure and contact the relevant number for your UK region.

· Spread the word. Share vital gas safety information with friends, family and neighbours to make sure your community stays safe.

If you need to find a Gas Safe registered engineer in your local area, you can type your postcode or town name into the search bar on the Gas Safe Register homepage, or visit the Check The Register page where you can search for a registered business by location, their company name or reg number, or the engineer’s licence card number.

From GasSafeRegister

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The notice period required for section 8 notices based on rent arrears has been reduced!

From 01/08/2021, landlords can serve a two months’ notice for rent arrears of less than four months when relying on grounds 8, 10 or 11.

General Advice

Whilst you can never ensure you get possession based on arrears of rent (the tenant could pay off the arrears before the hearing!); you can ensure your section 8 notice is as strong as it can be:

  1. Always cite all three rent grounds in your notice, where possible.
  1. Make sure the correct amount of notice is given, allowing time for service.
  1. Always use the current form 3 and fill it in completely and correctly.

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RIGHT TO RENT CHECKS UPDATE

Right to Rent Scheme COVID-19 Adjusted Checks Update

We announced on 12 May 2021 that the temporary adjustments would end on 20 June 2021.  This date has now been delayed.

Following the UK Government announcement on 14 June 2021 to delay lifting the remaining lockdown restrictions until 19 July 2021, we have decided to push the date back for the resumption of physical document checks to 1 September 2021.  This will ensure landlords have sufficient time to put measures in place to enable face to face document checks.

From 1 September 2021, you must check the prescribed documents as set out in the right to rent code of practice and the landlord’s guide, published on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/landlords-immigration-right-to-rent-checks.  This means that when carrying out a document check you must be in possession of the original documents.  You can no longer accept a scanned copy or a photo of original documents, as this will not provide you with a defence against a civil penalty.

Alternatively, where applicable you can use the Home Office online right to rent service via https://www.gov.uk/view-right-to-rent, which does not require you to see or check the individual’s physical documents.  You can carry out a check via video call using this service as right to rent information is provided in real time direct from Home Office systems – the tenant must give you permission to view their details in the form of a share code.  

This service can be used by those with a current Biometric Residence Permit or Card, status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or the points-based immigration system.

Landlords cannot insist individuals use this service or discriminate against those who choose to use their documents to prove their right to rent.

There is no requirement to carry out retrospective checks on those who had a COVID-19 adjusted check between 30 March 2020 and 31 August 2021 (inclusive).  This reflects the length of time the adjusted checks have been in place and supports business during this difficult time.

You will maintain a defence against a civil penalty if the check you have undertaken during this period was done in the prescribed standard manner or as set out in the COVID-19 adjusted checks guidance. However, any individual identified with no lawful immigration status in the UK may be liable to enforcement action.

Further information can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-landlord-right-to-rent-checks

You can sign up to receive updates about the Right to Rent Scheme on GOV.UK.

Finally, queries about the Right to Rent Scheme can be sent to:

RighttoRentandRighttoWork@homeoffice.gov.uk

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NEW NOTICES FOR POSSESSION ISSUED TODAY AND CHANGES TO NOTICE PERIODS

Section 21 and Section 8 Forms have been updated as of today.

Please make sure you use the most up-to-date forms. The text in them reflects the changes to notice periods (also effective from today – but only where the new forms have been issued)

Notice Periods are now:

Section 21 and Section 8 Forms have been updated as of today. Please make sure you use the most up-to-date forms. The text in them reflects the changes to notice periods (also effective from today – but only where the new forms have been issued)

Notice Periods are now:

  • Section 21 – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 1 (landlord to live in the property) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 2 (mortgage arrears) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 3 (holiday lets) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 4 (educational let) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 5 (minister of religion) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 6 (substantial works to the property) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 7 (successor not entitled) – 2 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 7A (mandatory ASB) – unchanged.
  • Section 8, Ground 7B (immigration status) – 2 weeks.
  • Section 8, Ground 8 (mandatory rent arrears) – where over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears are owing – 4 weeks’ notice, otherwise 4 months (reducing to two months on 01/08/2021).
  • Section 8, Ground 9 (suitable alternative accommodation) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 10 (rent arrears) – where over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears are owing – 4 weeks’ notice, otherwise 4 months (reducing to two months on 01/08/2021).
  • Section 8, Ground 11 (persistent delays in paying rent) – where over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears are owing – 4 weeks’ notice, otherwise 4 months (hopefully reducing to two months on 01/08/2021).
  • Section 8, Ground 12 (breach of tenancy) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 13 (property deterioration) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 14 (discretionary ASB) – unchanged.
  • Section 8, Ground 14ZA (offence during a riot) – unchanged.
  • Section 8, Ground 15 (condition of furniture) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 16 (employment by landlord terminated) – 4 months.
  • Section 8, Ground 17 (false statement) – between 2 to 4 weeks.

Bailiff services also recommence today, check with the court that your application for use of bailiffs is still active, if not re-apply.

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