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11th March 2021

Government extends help for tenants during COVID-19 pandemic

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New regulations have been introduced to extend help for both business and residential tenants during the continuing pandemic.

For business tenancies the relevant period preventing enforcing possession by forfeiture for non-payment of rent (and relying on non-payment as the basis for opposing the grant of a new business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954) has been extended to 30 June 2021.

For residential tenants, the relevant period during which the revised notice periods apply has been extended to 31 May 2021.  Accordingly landlords will continue to have to give at least six months’ notice in the prescribed form when seeking possession under the Housing Act 1988 including any notice to end an assured shorthold tenancy.  There are some limited exceptions, for example in the case of arrears in excess of six months or serious anti-social behaviour.  The Government has also announced it will be extending the current hold on evictions until 31 May 2021.

Whilst this no doubt will be welcomed by struggling tenants, there are inevitably concerns that this is stacking up problems as and when the restrictions do come to an end.

For further information contact our property litigation team