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CORONA VIRUS – WHAT ARE THE RULES AROUND EVICTIONS?

When the coronavirus first started it was made illegal for landlord to evict their tenants throughout England and Wales. Last week the ban on evictions was extended till 20th September.

An eviction is a process a landlord must follow if they would like to seek possession back of their property and would like the tenant to leave. They may want to do this for a number of reasons

  • The landlord may want to sell the property
  • The landlord may want to move into the property
  • The tenant maybe in breach of their tenancy agreement

 

Whatever the reason the landlord must go through the proper eviction process.  In order to start the process, the Landlord must either issue a ‘Section 21 notice’ or a Section 8 notice’. A section 21 is also known as a non-fault eviction whereas section 8 notice should be issues when the tenant is in breach of their tenancy agreement. In the case of a section 8 notice the landlord must specify why the tenant is in breach.

However, although the tenant may have received notice to vacate the property there is still no guarantee they will leave on the specific date. If the tenant fails to leave, then the landlord will have to apply to the courts for possession of their property and this is when it can get expensive. Therefor it is a lot more beneficial for the landlord if the tenant vacates before it gets this far.

 

As explained above at the start of the pandemic evicting a tenant from a property was banned. This was enforced by the government because they wanted to protect all those tenants who suffered from loss in income from being made homeless. Initially the ban was up until 25th June, however this has recently been extended to 20th September. Furthermore, after the 20th September a landlord must give a tenant at least a six-month notice period whereas previously it could have been as little as 2 weeks for some breaches of the tenancy agreement.

Due to the governments new rules regarding eviction there is the chance of landlords been exposed to tenants not paying their rent for a considerable amount of time. If this is the case, then there is the option for the landlord to apply for a payment holiday from their respective lender to ease some of the pressure.

Support is also available if for example the tenant has lost their job or had their hours reduced. In these instances, the tenant has the option to apply for housing benefit or universal credit, whichever applies.

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