Summer Update

Summer Update

Summer is officially here! The sun is shining and we’ve got a useful update for you, including up-and-coming news relating to the property market and how it can have an effect on landlords, tenants, sellers and buyers alike, if you have any questions – don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Notice Periods for Landlords Reduced to Four Months

The UK Government has announced that from 1 June, notice periods for Landlords to serve to tenants in England that are currently 6 months, will reduce to 4 months.

Notice periods for the most serious cases will remain lower:

• Anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)

• Domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)

• False statement (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)

• Over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)

• Breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (2 weeks’ notice)

• Death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)

Notice periods for cases where there is four or more months’ of unpaid rent, will reduce to 2 months’ notice from 1 August. This is to support both landlords and tenants and responds to the greater difference between COVID and pre-COVID notice periods for rent arrears. The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, will end on 31 May. Measures are being adopted as part of a phased approach and longer notice periods will remain in place until at least October. Housing Minister Chris Pincher stated that “Subject to the public health advice and progress with the Roadmap, notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October. The measures will ensure renters continue to be protected with longer notice periods for the coming months, while allowing landlords to access justice – 45% of private landlords own just one property and are highly vulnerable to rent arrears.”

Retrospective checks dropped in government’s updated right to rent guidance from 17 May 2021

Since 30 March 2020, temporary measures for the right to rent checks in England, which traditionally take place in person, have been in place. Now, the government has published guidance on how the checks should be conducted after 16 May 2021, with retrospective, in-person checks no longer required for that period. From 17 May 2021, the above rules revert to agents or landlords checking the tenants’ original documents, or using the online process, which continues to be voluntary for tenants. The government has noted that, while the pandemic is still ongoing, tenants may “struggle to show evidence of their right to rent in England” and has reminded agents and landlords to not discriminate against the tenant if they are unable to show their documents as a result. Right to rent checks are carried out as part of our let-only and fully managed services, but if you have any questions on the new process, please get in touch with us.

Renters’ Reform Bill could be back on the agenda

The State Opening of Parliament takes place on 11 May and it’s expected that this could be when the government confirms the Renters Reform Bill is to enter the Commons on the road to becoming law. The Renters’ Reform Bill proposes a sweeping set of reforms for the private rented sector, including:

• Ending so-called none-fault evictions by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, and reforming the grounds for possession.

• Making improvements to Section 8, giving landlords more rights to regain possession of their property, as well as improving the court process for landlords to make it quicker and easier for them to get their property back sooner.

• Introducing a new lifetime deposit, that moves with tenants from property to property.

• Widening the scope for entries on the rogue landlord and agent database, and providing tenants with access to this information.

If you have any queries or require further information regarding any of the information contained in this blog article, Sales, Lettings or Block Management information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Brannen & Partners Team

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