Changes to Section 21 Notice

Typical I go for a short break and the Government announce changes to the system of giving notice.

On Friday the government announced sweeping changes to the way tenants are given notice and how long it will take.  This short blog will cover the changes and I hope answer some of your questions

Q1. I was supposed to go to court to evict my tenant next week.  Is that still going ahead?

A: In a word NO.  All court hearings pertaining to evictions of tenants have been stopped until 20th September and I expect this to be extended again.

Q2: I want to give my tenants a Section 21 Notice how much notice do I have to give? 

A: As of now the minimum notice period is six months.  This has been extended from three months which in turn was extended from two months.  In simple terms if you want possession of your property and you give tenant notice tomorrow then you will get your possession in late February 2021.  This will be in place until at least March 2021

Q3: I want to sell my buy to let property what should I do?

A: Give your tenants their notice immediately.  In the past we would recommend waiting until you had a firm offer on the property before serving notice so you could maximise your income.  Now giving tenants notice should be part of the process of getting the property ready for sale.

Q4:  How will this affect the sale of my property? 

A: Selling your buy to let property to someone who wants to live there themselves could be problematic.  Yes there would be no Stamp Duty but would your purchasers wait six months before they could move in?  Selling to a fellow buy to let investor should not pose too much of a problem.  If your buyer is a buy to let investor he or she should welcome the security of having a tenant in situ

Q5:  Are there any exceptions

A: Yes if there is serious anti-social behaviour or abuse then evictions can be fast tracked.  Please be aware that late night parties, a barking dog, neighbour disputes, or leaving rubbish in the street, does not qualify as serious anti-social behaviour.  It needs to be criminal behaviour gor example drug dealing from the property.

Q6: I have been abroad and am returning to the UK in the New Year.  My plan was to return to the property I have rented out.  What can I do?

A: At the moment you will need to wait until the six months’ notice period is up.  I suspect what will happen is that there will be negotiation between the parties to see that both parties come out of this with something.  This may mean offering some kind of incentive

Q7: I have given my tenants six months’ notice now they want to leave before that notice is finished.  Can they leave?

A: In theory you can hold them to the full six months.  However do you really want to keep tenants in the property if they do not want to be there?  This could also be an opportunity to make improvements to the property and see an uplift in rent

The above are just questions I cam up with you may have other queries.  Please feel free to contact me to discuss any concerns you may have

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