Residential Eviction Update for Landlords - January 2021
With a new lockdown comes new regulations, so we wanted to keep you updated.
The Government announced on 5th November that no eviction enforcement action could occur between 11th December to 11th January, apart from serious cases. This restriction was due to be lifted on 11th January, but the Government has extended it until 21st February when it will be reviewed again and possibly extended further.
The original exemptions were:
- Domestic abuse or riot - two weeks' notice will be sufficient
- Where landlords are seeking possession as a result of antisocial behaviour - four weeks' notice will be sufficient
- Where tenants are required to vacate the property as a result of failed follow up Right to Rent checks - 12 weeks' notice will be required
- If the rent arrears exceed 6 months, then the notice period will be 4 weeks
The arrears exemption has slightly changed for the better for landlords. Notice can now be served if tenants are more than six months in arrears irrespective of when the arrears accrued. Due to the restrictions, landlords can go to court to gain possession of the property but cannot enforce it with a bailiff.
SUPPORT FOR TENANTS
The Government guided that Tenants should continue to pay rent as they have provided a robust financial support package. The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of April with employees receiving 80% of their current salary.
However, if a tenant falls into financial difficulty due to a change in their employment or earnings, they may qualify for Universal Credit. This is something we are advising all of our tenants to review. If tenants are experiencing financial hardship, they may be able to access Discretionary Housing Payments, of which £180 million has been provided to local authorities.
SUPPORT FOR LANDLORDS
The mortgage holiday has been extended to assist landlords with any financial difficulties they are experiencing. Applications are open until 31st March 2021, and this also includes Buy to Let mortgages. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has advised lenders who have taken 6 months' holiday and continue to face ongoing financial difficulties. Firms should continue to provide support.
If you need any advice on the above matters or anything related to residential property, please feel free to call, I am always happy to help.