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On 1 October, the eviction process in England returned to how it was pre-pandemic for the first time since March 2020.
As a result, landlords seeking eviction need to use updated forms and notice periods to make sure they’re legally compliant.
Read on for guidance on the latest changes to the eviction process, a recap of what’s happened over the last 18 months, and how to reduce the chances of needing to evict tenants.
After months of restrictions and longer notice periods, eviction rules have returned to how they were pre-pandemic.
If your tenants have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, these are the notice periods you must follow:
Grounds for eviction
Minimum notice period
Section 8 or Section 21
1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, or 16
3, 4, 7b, 12, 13, 14a, 15, or 17
1 calendar month
8, 10, and 11
Read Shelter’s guide to mandatory grounds for possession to find out more about what each ground of eviction is for.
That said, it’s important to note that the government has until the end of March 2022 to implement eviction restrictions again using the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Due to the recent eviction updates, landlords will need to download new forms if they want to serve notice.
The most common eviction forms used by landlords are Form 6a for Section 21 evictions and Form 3 for Section 8 evictions. To make sure your eviction notice is valid, you must use the correct version of the form.
The National Residential Landlords Association has reported that the forms’ wording has changed significantly as a result of the disruption over the last 18 months. For example, the Section 8 form no longer explains what length of notice period is required for each eviction ground.
Forms and the way landlords can process evictions is likely to change again in the coming year. The government is set to publish a rental reforms white paper, which is expected to include widespread changes to Section 21.
In the meantime, you can download the current eviction forms from the government website.
The ability for landlords to repossess properties through the courts was restricted for much of the last 18 months, while standard notice periods were also extended to give tenants more protection.
Throughout this time, there was uncertainty among landlords and tenants as eviction rules changed frequently, and the government made a number of last-minute u-turns.
Here’s a recap of what happened:
Evicting tenants is sometimes unavoidable. For example, if you need to live in the property, or the tenants have been illegally subletting and caused serious damage over a long period of time.
However, seeking an eviction should always be treated as a last resort. Not only is the court process time consuming and costly, but having an empty property is rarely in a landlord’s interest.
If you’re having problems with tenants, here are some of the things you can do before seeking an eviction:
Please use this article as a guide only. Before seeking an eviction, check the latest government guidance and take advice from a legal professional or eviction specialist.
Were you affected by the eviction ban? Let us know in the comments below.
Photograph 1: Antonioguillem/stock.adobe.com
Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.
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