31 May is Moving day!
Well ok, not exactly moving day, but it might be “start packing your bags” day.
The end of the month signals the end of the freeze on evictions. Currently we cannot evict residential tenants, but from 1 June these can start again.
No doubt the courts will have a huge backlog of cases, but they have indicated that they are going to give priority to serious cases, including those involving fraud or anti-social behaviour. And of course if you’ve already got your eviction order from before the pandemic you can get in touch with your enforcement agent asap and start making plans.
If you haven’t yet served notice to quit to your tenant, the relevant notice period has now been reduced from 6 months to four. They are expected to go back to 2 months from 1 October but it’s obviously too soon to know if this is achievable. However, if you want to serve notice to quit, you might as well do it now, because at least you know that you can enforce any notice, which we couldn’t do before.
Another reduction is in relation to rent arrears. Currently you can only serve notice if there are over three months of arrears, but from 1 August this goes down to 2 months.
No doubt many tenants and those charities offering them support will be concerned about this, but it’s worth remembering that nearly 50% of residential landlords are private individuals who don’t always have deep pockets. Many have mortgages to pay and have been just as badly hit by the lockdown as their tenants. So it’s about finding a balance.
If you are a residential landlord who wants to consider what steps they can take and when, feel free to send me any ASTs and details of rent arrears and I’ll happily have a look for no charge.
If you are a tenant who can’t pay their rent or are in arrears, get on the phone to your landlord asap and see what deal can be done. It’s still going to take time (and cost money) to get you out and a reasonable proposal from you could still be better than having to remove you and start again. If you want some suggestions about what your options are and what might be a reasonable proposal, feel free to drop me a line with the details. There’s no charge for a chat.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Packing a powerful punch of legal advice.