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Blog September 7, 2020

Changes to notice requirements and possession proceedings for residential landlords and tenants

The Government has announced a raft of measures affecting residential landlords and tenants.

The measures include a requirement that landlords give at least six months’ notice to tenants before evicting them until March 2021, apart from in certain circumstances.

Meanwhile, the stay on possession proceedings introduced earlier this year has been extended until 20 September.

The changes came into effect from 29 August and notices served before that date are unaffected by the changes.


Landlords may give shorter periods of notice in the following circumstances:

·         Anti-social behaviour (now 4 weeks’ notice)

·         Domestic abuse (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)

·         False statement (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)

·         Over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears (now 4 weeks’ notice)

·         Breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (now 3 months’ notice).


Changes to court procedures from 20 September will require landlords to set out in their claim information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information about the effect of COVID-19. Judges will be able to adjourn proceedings where this information is not provided.

Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, said: “We have developed a package of support for renters to ensure they continue to be protected over winter. I have changed the law so that renters are protected by a six month notice period until March 2021.

“No tenant will have been legally evicted for six months at the height of the pandemic as the stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September.

“For the most egregious cases, for example, those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, notice periods have returned to their normal levels, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.

“These changes will support landlords to progress the priority cases while keeping the public safe over winter. We will keep these measures under review and decisions will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice.”

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