On 25 March 2020, the Coronavirus Act 2020 received Royal Assent. The Act provides that landlords will have to give all renters 3 months’ notice (for notices pursuant to Section 8 and Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988) if they intend to seek possession of a property and new prescribed forms have been published. The Act gives the government power to further extend the notice periods to 6 months if necessary.
As these changes apply to all grounds of eviction under Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988 (not just rent arrears) this may leave landlords in a difficult position if faced with tenants causing a nuisance or carrying out criminal activities. This may also leave certain landlords without recourse against those tenants with pre-Covid-19 arrears and a consistent pattern of failing to pay rent on time.