Changes to notice periods for possession in the rental sector

Regulations outlining how six month notice periods will work in England have been published today with the changes coming into force on Saturday 29 August 2020 and effectively extending the Coronavirus Act 2020 through to 31 March 2021.


The government has announced its intention to support tenants in need as we enter Autumn and Winter months with widespread announcements on redundancies, while also responding to calls for justice from letting agents and landlords grappling with pre-COVID-19 rent arrears and anti-social behaviour.

From the start of the bank holiday weekend, Saturday 29 August, agents who need to issue section notices as a result of tenants incurring rent arrears or misleading information must allow six months before gaining possession. However, if the rent arrears exceed six months rental payments, the notice period will reduce to four weeks.

A number of other scenarios are addressed in a slab structure of possession proceedings:

In cases of domestic abuse or riot, two weeks' notice will be sufficient

Where landlords are seeking possession as a result of antisocial behaviour, four weeks' notice will be sufficient

Where tenants are required to vacate property as a result of failed follow up Right to Rent checks, 12 weeks notice will be required

For more information on this change in legislation contact Paul Barnes, Letting Director on 024 7622 8111.