COVID 19 Update: Changes to housing eviction notices

The Coronavirus Act 2020 grants the government emergency powers to handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among other wide ranging amendments, the provisions in Schedule 29 of the Act amend certain sections under the Housing Acts 1985,1988 and 1996, as well as the Rent Act 1977.

The legislation has been introduced as an emergency measure to give extra protection to tenants during the Covid-19 and aims to regulate possession notices for most types of residential tenancies.

These amendments extend the notice period for any notice served by the landlord seeking possession to three months, meaning that a landlord cannot commence possession proceedings until a three-month period has passed with some limited exceptions.

This applies from 26 March 2020 and is in place until 30 September 2020. Notices served before the 26 March 2020 are still valid, however from the 27 March 2020 all possession proceedings going through the courts are suspended.

Moreover, this period could be extended for a period of up to six months by the secretary of state for England and the Welsh minister.