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The minimum amount of notice which must be given when serving a section 8 or section 21 notice for assured shorthold tenancies was extended multiple times to protect tenants because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But with life is starting to return to ‘normal’, from 1 October notice periods have returned to their pre-pandemic required level. This is positive news for landlords.

What are the revised notice periods to end assured shorthold tenancy agreements?

A section 21 notice is a “no fault” notice to start the legal process to bring an assured shorthold tenancy to an end. Whereas the most common grounds for a section 8 notice are the failure to pay rent and/or delay in paying rent.

From 1 October, these notice periods will apply:

  • Section 21 notice – a minimum of 2 months’ notice
  • Section 8 notice relying on grounds 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9 or 16 – a minimum of 2 months’ notice
  • Section 8 notice relying on the remaining grounds save for ground 7A or 14 where exceptional notice apply – a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice.

Can notice periods be backdated?

The revised notice periods will not be backdated to apply to notices served before 1 October. If a notice has been served before 1 October, landlords will need to comply with the previous notice periods, e.g. 4 months if the notice was served between 1 June and 30 September 2021.

Will extended notice periods be reintroduced?

The extended notice periods have only been suspended by the government rather than abolished in their entirety. Whilst there is no plan to bring the extended notice periods back, if the UK goes into another lockdown, the government has the power to reintroduce the longer notice periods until 25 March 2022.

How long after a possession notice has been made can a section 21 be used to recover the property through the courts?

A section 21 notice can be relied on to issue a court claim to recover possession of residential property, providing the claim is issued within 6 months of the date of the notice. A section 8 notice lapses 12 months from the date on the notice.

This article was co-written by Simon Tucker, property litigation lawyer and Jenny Dodds, trainee lawyer.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.