The Business Legal Services Blog

How emergency legislation continues to impact landlords in these uncertain times

Emergency legislation relating to residential possession proceedings has been introduced by the government. This month, Anna Pettinger outlines how it continues to impact landlords in these uncertain times…

My tenants haven’t paid rent since February. Am I likely to regain possession of my property any time soon?

As I discussed last month, the government was quick to help residential tenants who may be seriously affected by the coronavirus lockdown. We now know this emergency legislation will last longer than anticipated.

One of the measures introduced by the government was an extension of statutory notice periods to 90 days for landlords wishing to terminate a tenancy, via a Section 21 or Section 8.

In addition, all possession proceedings and the enforcement of notices was stayed from March 27 for 90 days. This means any current and new proceedings were effectively put on hold until the end of June.

Although the legislation was only supposed to last until October 30, we are expecting it and the 90-day notice period to be pushed back further, meaning there will be a significant delay in obtaining a possession, whichever route you take.

We anticipate possession hearings that were listed for March/April are likely to take place in November/December, depending on the court’s availability.

Is there anything I can do to limit my losses in the meantime?

We understand these are very difficult times for landlords. There is much uncertainty about whether the government will extend the lockdown and how this will impact on the law in the coming months.

Sheffield council is working very closely with Shelter to help tenants remain in their properties, by obtaining benefits to cover rent arrears in order to prevent an eviction.

Since your tenants have stopped paying rent, I would recommend you speak to them and attempt to agree some sort of payment plan, perhaps by suggesting they contact Shelter for assistance.

If you would like more information about the emergency coronavirus legislation and its impact on private landlords, don’t hesitate to email me: anna.pettinger@tayloremmet.co.uk or call (0114) 218 4000

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