Coronavirus: Advice for landlord and tenant disputes

Pandemic problems? What should you know about issuing a claim? We look at the current legislation for landlord and tenant disputes.

Offices signifying landlord and tenant disputes resulting from the pandemic.

The pandemic has seen the government enact emergency legislation that has altered possession proceedings considerably since March 2020 and prevented evictions in the majority of cases. We break down what that means for landlord and tenant disputes.

What should I know about issuing a claim?

The ban on evictions in England came to an end on 31 May 2021 but it is important for both landlords and tenants to stay up to date with the latest developments. Tenants should be aware of their rights and landlords should know the minimum notice that they must give their tenants, ensuring that they do not follow out-of-date guidance and increase the amount of time it takes to regain possession of their property, as well as significantly increasing the cost of doing so.  Guidance for landlords and tenants on GOV.UK gives up to date information regarding the current process. We recommend checking this before pursuing any action.

What else has changed?

There have been further alterations to the length of notice that a landlord must give their tenant/s before starting possession proceedings. From 1 June 2021, any Section 21 notice served must give at least four months for tenants to leave the property. There will be further changes from 1 August 2021 when the minimum notice period for Section 21 notices will further reduce to 2 months.

There are also new obligations as to which documents must be filed alongside the claim. It is important that landlords bear this in mind, as failure to follow the correct procedure can lead to significant delays or even their claims being struck out. If the court grants an order for possession, the next step for a landlord is to seek that a warrant of eviction is executed by court appointed bailiffs.

Court appointed bailiffs must give at least 14 days’ notice of when an eviction will take place.

Still got questions?

Have a look at our articles on breaking a commercial lease and commercial leases and rent holidays. For more detailed advice and assistance issuing a claim, contact our dispute resolution team who can also help with exceptions notices, possession proceedings and evictions.

This article was written by Daniel Bolster

Please note the contents contained in this article are for general guidance only and reflection the position at time of posting. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters.

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