The notices seeking possession of any property occupied under and Assured Shorthold Tenancy have been updated to account for Coronavirus Act.
The notices may not look too different as the changes to the format of the notice have been minor however as of 26th March 2020, these notices will need to be used for all ASTs until at least 30 September 2020. The main difference with the new requirements will be notice periods. Section 21 Notices have always required a minimum of 2 months notice and a Section 8 Notice were at least 14 days for the most commonly relied upon grounds. These have been changed temporarily and now both now require a minimum of 3 months notice.
For those subscribed to our helpline and therefore having access to our document vault, the new notices are available for you to download by logging in to the document vault as usual.
We also know that there will be a pre-action protocol for private housing possession claims added to the current social housing pre-action protocol for all new possession claims made following the 3 month moratorium. This protocol has not been enacted yet and so we do not know exactly what will be required but it is likely to closely resemble the current social housing protocol. Therefore even if possession proceedings are being considered, we would recommend as far as possible complying with the spirit of the protocol to avoid an adverse decision in any eventual court action.