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Covid 19 Updates

September 2020

Residential Tenancies Update

In March 2020, the government extended the minimum notice period for residential possession claims from 2 months to 3 months for claims made up to 30 September. This applied to tenancies in both England and Wales.

From 24 July, the Welsh government extended the notice period to 6 months for properties in Wales until 30 September. It is likely that this arrangement will continue beyond 30 September, but at the time of writing we await details.

From 29 August, the government extended the notice period in England to 6 months until 31 March 2021. This applies to all Section 21 claims and the majority of Section 8 claims. However, the notice period has been reduced to pre-Covid levels for claims based on the tenant’s anti-social behaviour, and only 4 weeks’ notice is required where there are more than six months’ rent arrears.

Our documents relating to possession proceedings under Section 8 and Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 have been amended to reflect the new notice periods in England. Further amendments will be made if required when we know the position for properties in Wales from 1 October.

Commercial Tenancies Updates

Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) rights are usually exercisable when there are 7 days’ worth of rent arrears. The government amended this in April to require 90 days’ worth of rent arrears and in June to require 189 days’ rent arrears. Further amendments have been made to require at least 276 days’ arrears from 29 September, and 366 days' arrears from 25 December. This will apply until 31 December or such later date as the government may specify. Our CRAR documents remain suitable for use, but landlords should note the new rent arrears requirements.

In March, the government placed a moratorium on forfeiture proceedings for commercial leases until 30 June, where the landlord was forfeiting the lease for non-payment of rent. The moratorium has now been extended until 31 December.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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