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Ministers have today (28 August 2020) made important concessions about how repossession cases in the rental market will be handled from 20th September.

Regulations published today and coming into force tomorrow (29 August 2020) will mean landlords will only need to give tenants who have committed anti-social behaviour four weeks’ notice of their intention to repossess a property.  Those who have committed acts of domestic violence will only need to be given two weeks’ notice.

In cases of tenant rent arrears, landlords will now only be required to give four weeks’ notice where a tenant has built six months of arrears.  This will ensure action can start to be taken now against tenants whose arrears had been built up before the Covid-19 lockdown.  Last week the Government had said the courts would only prioritise cases where tenants were in a year or more’s worth of arrears.

Whilst the National Residential Landlords Association has welcomed today’s announcements, it is warning that they “mean nothing without a cast iron guarantee that the courts will begin to hear cases on 20th September”.  Additionally, the NRLA says it is disappointed that the six-month notice period will remain in cases where landlords need to regain possession of a property in order to live in it.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said “Today’s announcement provides welcome clarity about how possession cases will be handled.  However, it will mean nothing without a complete guarantee that the courts will hear cases from 20th September.

“It is disappointing that the Government has so far failed to heed the warnings of the NRLA and others that a financial package is needed to pay-off rent arrears built due to Covid.  In the end this is the best way to sustain tenancies.  We will continue to campaign hard for this important measure.”

[Source: propertyreporter.co.uk, 28 August 2020]

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