2. Section 8 grounds for possession (section 8 eviction process) Posted on February 25, 2019 by Catherine Hartland Watkins - Uncategorised There are a number of different ways that a Landlord can recover possession of a property when the tenant has been served with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST). Consideration should also be given to language, cultural, and disability barriers. Further guidance can be found here. As a guide, priority will be given to claims issued before the stay commenced in March 2020, and to cases including those involving anti-social behaviour, extreme rent arrears, domestic abuse, fraud and deception, illegal occupiers and squatters or abandonment of a property, unlawful subletting, and cases concerning what was allocated as temporary accommodation by an authority. Provide a copy of the report (known as the Electrical Safety Condition Report or EICR) to their tenants, and to the local authority if requested. It is very unlikely that COVID-19 is transmitted through food. We continue to encourage landlords and tenants to work together to resolve disputes without the need for court action, including agreeing repayment plans where a tenant is unable to fully meet their rent. Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. Keeping you up to date with legal news & updates. However, individual agreements and circumstances will vary, and so property guardians should take their own legal advice in order to fully understand their rights and responsibilities. We encourage landlords to consider that a tenant’s employment and income may have been affected by the pandemic which is likely to have an effect on what levels of rent will be realistic. Notice periods on these grounds otherwise vary, depending on the type of tenancy and ground used, between 2 weeks and 1 month. In deciding whether to open or close such spaces, landlords and scheme managers will need to undertake their own local risk assessment, balancing the importance of measures that can assist residents’ wider well-being and independence, the need to have the right COVID-19 infection control measures in place and the need to comply with the restrictions on gathering indoors. Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals will need to carefully consider their personal situation and the circumstances of their home move and may wish to seek medical advice before deciding whether to commit or go ahead with a move. Therefore, from 29 August 2020, for notices in relation to anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and rioting, the required notice periods have returned to their pre-Coronavirus Act 2020 lengths. This may include allowing tenants to end the tenancy by giving less notice than allowed for in the tenancy agreement or permitting them to end the tenancy before the fixed term expires. See guidance for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Where students are moving into new shared accommodation, such as a shared flat, HMO or student accommodation, this will become the private dwelling where they are living for the purposes of any guidance. People who live in shared accommodation should continue to follow the relevant rules and guidance on meeting people from outside of your household when meeting people you do not live with. Get legal advice on your situation. 1. Most shared owners will also be covered by the Coronavirus Act 2020, meaning their landlords will not be able to start possession proceedings unless they have given shared owners the required notice. Unlike a “notice to quit”, a “notice to seek possession” is a very tenant fault eviction. Should they develop symptoms they should then self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or longer if symptoms persist. Moving home is not appropriate if those involved pose a direct risk of transmitting COVID-19. Essentially, a landlord can issue a Section 8 notice at any time during the tenancy period - as long as there is a legal ground for eviction. Section 21 possession by post. Local authorities have enforcement powers to require landlords to remedy serious overcrowding hazards. To protect against Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, the government has changed the law to ensure bailiffs do not to enforce evictions in England over the period of national restrictions, which are in force until the beginning of the day on 2 December, and, following the lifting of these restrictions, there will be no bailiff enforcement throughout December, and over Christmas, until 11 January 2021. For example in tier 1, the rule of 6 applies so residents can mix in groups of 6 while practicing social distancing. See guidance on moving home during coronavirus (COVID-19). If this means that a planned programme of works is best delayed, landlords should take steps to manage resident expectations. Settling a dispute early can also help to avoid a breakdown in relations between the tenant and landlord and let them move forward with the tenancy. There may be additional risks involved in moving into a HMO at this time, which is why it is important that all involved take reasonable precautions. Surfaces and belongings can also be contaminated with COVID-19 when people with the infection cough or sneeze or touch them. Planned maintenance activities should not be carried out where operatives or contractors are required to enter the homes of households that are self-isolating. However, as a matter of good hygiene practice, anyone handling food should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before doing so. In some cases, this means that proceedings for anti-social behaviour can be brought immediately after notice has been served. Tenants should therefore contact the local authority regarding their concerns. Extractor fans, where fitted that vent outside, should also be used. After the national restrictions have been lifted, then tradespeople can visit people’s homes to carry out work or maintenance across all tiers provided these are undertaken in line with public health advice and the relevant coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation. Landlords are also encouraged to contact their local authority homelessness departments or private rented sector procurement team who can speak to them about renting their property to a homeless household which may guarantee them an income during this time. Where possible, virtual viewings should be used before visiting properties in person in order to minimise public health risks. Check your employment contract as it may set out how much notice you should be given. Mediation allows an independent third-party to assist those involved to reach a mutually acceptable agreement to resolve their dispute, without the matter needing to go to court. In law, a licence usually arises when there is no right to exclusive possession or there is no intention to enter into a legal relationship of landlord and tenant. No. Should there be no improvement in the situation and the breach continues then you are obliged to write to the tenants and formally notify them of the said breach. Many residential blocks provide shared facilities such as laundry rooms and waste disposal areas. If you want to offer your tenant a rent reduction, temporarily or permanently, there is no need to repay part of the deposit immediately – the deposit cap imposed by the Tenant Fees Act 2019 is linked to initial rent levels. Any relevant local advice should also be followed. Non-statutory guidance for landlords and tenants in the private and social rented sectors on: This guidance is advisory and informs you about recent changes to the law. That is because where a sub-tenancy was lawfully granted (i.e. Those who develop symptoms of coronavirus, should not use these facilities, regardless of whether they remain open. For fixed term tenancies (for example, a tenancy of six months or one year), the tenant can sublet without the consent of the landlord if subletting is not mentioned in the tenancy agreement. You should do your very best to follow this guidance and everyone in your household should: Regular cleaning plays a vital role in limiting the transmission of COVID-19. If your ability to pay will be affected, it’s important to have an early conversation with your landlord. See guidance. See guidance on the local restriction tiers. Landlords may accept a lower level of rent or agree a plan to pay off arrears at a later date and not seek possession action through the courts for a period of time. This should be balanced with other considerations such as comfort, safety and security. At the expiry of the notice period, a landlord cannot force a tenant to leave their home without a court order. Takeaway is not permitted after 11pm, but click-and-collect (following orders made via telephone or online) and delivery services can continue. Any relevant local advice should also be followed. Technically, tenants are liable to pay the rent for the whole of the contractual notice period, or for the whole of the fixed term but, if a new tenant can be found quickly, allowing the agreement to end early need not cause you to suffer any loss. Cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is particularly important in bathrooms and communal kitchens. Most tenants will be able to pay rent as normal and should continue to do so, as they will remain liable for the rent during this period. You cannot use a Section 21 notice if any of the following apply: 1. it’s less than 4 months since the tenancy started, or the fixed term has not ended, unless there’s a clause in the contract which allows you to do this 2. the property is categorised as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and does not have a HMOlicence from the council 3. the tenancy started after April 2007 and you have not put the tenants’ deposit in a deposit protection scheme 4. the tenancy started after October 2015 and you have not use… Section 21 Notice. It cannot be sublet from your mother. Where a home move proceeds, they should be conducted in line the guidance on moving home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) period in Englandhttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Moving home is not appropriate if those involved pose a direct risk of transmitting COVID-19. Landlords can take steps to carry out repairs and safety inspections throughout the country under the national restrictions, which are in force in England until the beginning of 2 December, provided these are undertaken in line with public health advice and the relevant coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation. This should mean that tenants who are living with serious hazards that a landlord has failed to remedy can still be assured of local authority support, but that landlords should also know they should not be unfairly penalised where COVID-19 restrictions may have prevented them from meeting some routine obligations. An early conversation between landlord and tenant can help both parties to agree a plan if tenants are struggling to pay their rent. Any relevant local advice should also be followed. Gas safety inspections should not be carried out in homes that are self-isolating until after the isolation period has ended, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household. The government has amended the coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations to make clear that people who wish to move home can do so. Landlords and/or managing agents may wish to close or restrict use of non-essential indoor communal space where it would not be possible to maintain social distancing (e.g. Please refer to the updated guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable individuals. For notices issued on or after 29 August 2020, landlords must provide 6 months’ notice in most circumstances. To protect against Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, the Government has changed the law to ensure that, apart from in the most serious circumstances, bailiffs do not enforce evictions in England over the period of national restrictions, which are in force until the beginning of the day on 2 December and, following the lifting of these restrictions, there will be no bailiff enforcement throughout December, and over Christmas, until 11 January 2021. Local authorities can provide support for tenants to stay in their homes. 0330 404 0749. Tenants must continue to provide notice as required in their tenancy agreement if they need to leave their tenancy. Property Guardian licence agreements are a valid tenancy arrangement for receiving housing costs support in Universal Credit. If the lease says nothing about subletting, the tenant needs permission from the landlord to sublet, who can refuse for any reason. We are encouraging a pragmatic, common-sense approach to enforcement in these unprecedented times. New court rules are now in force which require landlords to set out any information they are aware of in relation to how their tenant, or any dependant of their tenant, has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. Landlords (and agents acting on behalf of landlords) must continue to uphold all their legal obligations relating to Tenancy Deposit Protection, and the usual process to return a deposit should be followed if a tenancy ends during the pandemic. Section 8 for rent arrears. In particular, no work should be carried out if it means landlords or contractors may have to enter a household which is self-isolating because one or more family members has symptoms, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household. If they need to vacate the property before any agreed departure date, they should speak to their landlord. New guidance for landlords and tenants on the possession action process through the courts has been published. The landlord can serve you a Section 8 – notice seeking possession and go directly to court. Landlords may also want to provide other evidence they have that the installation, appliance or flue is in a good condition while they attempt to arrange works. Please check government guidance for up to date information about the support available. Facilities will be able to continue providing takeaway and delivery services for all residents as per the overall regulations. In light of the unprecedented circumstances presented by coronavirus, we continue to advise landlords not to commence new notices seeking possession during this challenging time without a very good reason to do so. And kettles guidance and consider how it can be removed from their because... 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