As the the UK continues to regain a sense of ‘normalcy’ following the outbreak of COVID-19, the UK government is beginning to address some of the changes that were made at the start of the pandemic.
Eviction notices were extended during the pandemic to assist tenants that couldn’t afford to pay rent or were struggling in other ways. However, changes have been made to return these notices to pre-pandemic levels.
Why the new forms have been created
The new regulations have been put into place by the UK government on the 1st of October 2021 regarding notice periods as they return to their pre-pandemic levels.
New legislation with regards to eviction notices returning to their pre-pandemic levels means that there are new versions created for both form 3 (section 8) and form 6a (section 21) and they must be used going forward.
This, therefore, means that it is important that any notice that hasn’t been served before October 1 must be discarded and the new paperwork should be used.
From the 1st of October 2021, the notice period that is required for Section 21 notices will be reduced to two months and notes for Section 8 will go back to just two weeks.
The changes made to the forms
The previous rules stated that from 1 June 2021 until 30 September 2021, notice periods must be at least four months in most cases, but there were exemptions made for serious cases.
Currently, notice periods have now been shortened to 2 weeks as the pre-pandemic levels are making a return. Old forms that are not deemed as served on or after the 1st of October 2021 will be incorrect.
It’s therefore important for agents to remember that, if they serve the wrong forms, the notice will not be valid and tenants will not have to comply with the terms stated in the form (even if both parties have signed the document.
Where they can be accessed
Both Form 6a (Section 21) and Form 3 (Section 8) can be accessed through the government website. Landlords must be sure that they issue the correct documentation to tenants as any old forms used after October 1st will be invalid.
The notes from Form 3 have been moved to a different document which will be uploaded alongside Form 3 – this has already been done for Form 6A. These forms can be accessed at Gov.uk and they can be downloaded for use.
What these changes will mean for your business
Any notices that have been served before 1 October 2021 will still need to comply with the current rules so will require four months’ notice, unless they have mitigating circumstances.
However, to avoid any issues or submitting the wrong paperwork, any paperwork that has not been served by October 1st will be invalid for the older forms to be used.
For more information about the forms, please visit Gov.uk.
*Disclaimer: please note this blog is only intended as a guide, and is not to be taken as legal advice*