New regulations on tenancy notice periods and prescribed forms – how they will affect housing providers10/09/21
The Government has introduced new regulations that will come into force on 1 October 2021. From this date, the notice periods to be given to tenants will change and in addition, three new forms will have to be used by landlords. We set out below how the new regulations will affect registered providers, local authorities and private landlords.
The notice periods that landlords have had to give tenants have varied several times throughout the pandemic. For example, from March 2020 we had a fairly blanket notice period of 3 months. Then from September 2020 it changed to varying periods of up to 6 months. Shorter periods were available for some grounds but it did vary if you used a combination of grounds.
Then from June 2021 we had shorter periods but, other than a few grounds, (mainly anti-social behaviour), these were still longer than pre-Covid notices.
What will change?
From 1 October 2021 the notice periods will all revert to what was in place prior to Covid.
So for example, for assured/shorthold tenancies, the minimum periods will revert to:
- Grounds 8, 10 & 11 (Rent) - 2 weeks
- Ground 12 (breach of tenancy) – 2 weeks
- Ground 14 (discretionary ASB) – immediate
- Section 21 – 2 months
Could this change again?
It seems unlikely, but the power for the Government to introduce changes has been extended to 25 March 2022.
Do you have to use the minimum period?
No, you can always provide a longer notice period.
Many social landlords will have terms in their tenancy agreement, or will have made promises elsewhere, that they will provide a longer notice period. For example, some tenancies provide that the landlord will give four weeks’ notice in rent cases. Those terms are binding.
However, you cannot give less than the minimum period.
The new prescribed forms
The prescribed forms have also changed several times during the pandemic. There are 2 new forms:
- Form 3 – the NoSP
- Form 6A – the s21 notice
These are set out by the regulations and must be used from 1 October 2021. The new versions can be found here. In addition, the Notice Seeking Possession against secure tenants under s83 Housing Act 1985 will change and can be found here.
Landlords should ensure their blank or precedent notices are changed from 1 October.
How will the changes impact social landlords?
The reduced notice periods will be good news for landlords and will be welcomed by those who have struggled to take effective enforcement action with the longer notice periods.
The impact can be shown by the fact there is no real point serving a s21 Notice now, as waiting until 1 October will be quicker. However, landlords will need to be careful to check that any notices are valid.
How can Capsticks help?
Our specialist housing team is working to ensure that we are right beside our clients every step of the way. Our experts are on hand to advise on all aspects of housing management, including complex succession disputes, possession claims, ASB, county court injunctions, gas, electrical and fire safety issues, income recovery, removing squatters, sub-letting, fraud, disrepair, abandonment, and judicial reviews.
We will keep you updated on any further developments as and when they may arise.
If you have any queries around what's discussed in this article, and the impact on your organisation, please speak to Michael Owen, or any of our team to find out more about how Capsticks can help.