Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, yesterday announced that there will be a temporary ‘holiday’ on stamp duty land tax for the first £500,000 of all property sales for England and Northern Ireland. This holiday comes into immediate effect and will last until 31 March 2021.
With the rules on lockdown starting to ease gradually, looking ahead to the approaching deadline which may see the lifting of the stay on issuing eviction proceeding, it is important that Landlords are aware of a new rule which comes into force today on the need to supply an electrical safety certificate in certain private rented accommodation. The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 applies to specified new tenancies which commence on or after the 1st July 2020 including renewals and in relation to all existing tenancies the deadline for compliance is the 1st April 2021.
We thought that it might be useful to provide a reminder of some of the basics for landlords when looking to regain possession.
1. Check the tenancy agreement to make sure that there are no obscure notice requirements within the agreement. 2. Select whether a Section 8 or Section 21 Notice is going to be served on the tenant. You can of course serve both at the same time. 3. If you are relying on Section 8 then proceedings must be started within 12 months of the Notice. The Notice must be in the correct format and include specific information required. 4. A Section 8 Notice must clearly set out the grounds for possession. It is recommended that you rely on both mandatory grounds and discretionary grounds just in case you get to the date of the hearing and the mandatory ground cannot be made out, you then have a fall back of discretionary grounds. 5. Engage with the tenant before issuing proceedings and getting to the hearing stage as this may assist you in agreeing payment plans etc. 6. Ensure that you provide evidence of rent arrears if you are replying on Section 8 Notices e.g a witness statement with a schedule of rent arrears attached 7. If you are relying on section 21, this is a no fault notice and has recently become quite controversial with suggestion that this may be abolished. Any proceedings must be issued within 6 months of the Notice.
Common pitfalls to watch out for a) Incorrect information on the notice, claim form and/or particulars of claim b) Prescribed documents (e.g How to Rent guide, EPC, Valid Gas Safety Certificates) not being served on the tenant c) Wrong notice period being provided in the Section 8 or Section 21 Notice d) Incorrect calculation of rent arrears can lead to the hearing being adjourned
If you require any advice on this, or any other matter relating to Landlord and Tenant issues, including the drafting of new tenancy agreements, please contact the litigation department at Barwells on 01323 875050 or email@example.com
As most landlords will be aware, there is currently a stay on all Possession Proceedings, but that is due to end in approximately 5 weeks.
It is important for Landlord’s to keep in mind that the current stay required on possession proceedings, as set out in place by PD51Z, only pauses proceedings, it does not prevent you from issuing possession proceedings. What will happen in practical terms, is that you will be able to issue proceedings and those will automatically be put on hold until the 3 month stay is lifted.
There is also now a requirement that any Notice is 3 months in length ( as opposed to 2 weeks or 2 months under normal procedure). This will apply to any Notice served up until 30th September 2020, although the shorter Notices served before 26th March 2020 will still be valid and will be due to expire shortly.
One of the major concerns is the inevitable backlog of cases that will be within the Court system as soon as the stay is lifted. It is important therefore to consider whether you issue your notice and start the process as soon as possible so that you are hopefully somewhere further up the queue.
If you have any questions relating to your situation as a Landlord please do not hesitate to contact our Litigation Team at Barwells on 01323 875050 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Barwells are pleased to confirm that the Government has now revised the movement restrictions by virtue of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020. This now allows for you to undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property and makes it clear that people who wish to move home can do so: