Under the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 the notice rules for England have been changed.

From 29 August section 21 notices have to be at least six months long. These regulations also extend the period over which these longer notices are required until 31 March 2021.

Before Coronavirus section 8 notices had different lengths of notice for different reasons. Under the initial changes made by Schedule 29 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 these were originally standardised and lengthened so that all section 8 notices had to be three months. These new regulations re-establish different notice lengths for different grounds.

Most grounds, including rent arrears totalling less than six months of rent arrears, are extended to six months’ notice. Serious rent arrears, in excess of six months’ arrears, are reduced to four weeks’ notice (normally this would have been only two weeks’ notice).

Grounds 7A and 14, relating to anti-social behaviour, revert to their pre covid rules.

The Civil Procedure (Amendment No.2) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020, were brought into force on 25 June 2020. The 26 June is when the Government were hoping to open the courts for possession hearings. Though many restrictions began to ease, the courts remained closed until 21 September 2020.

To coincide with the courts opening on the 21 September further rules were made through The Civil Procedure (Amendment No.4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 and Practice Direction 55c Coronavirus:  Temporary Provision in relation to possession proceedings.

There are two different claims a “stayed claim” and a “new claim” A stayed claim is a claim that was made on or before 19 September including an appeal from a decision on a claim.

Any claim stayed on or before the 3 August needs a ‘reactivation notice’ and nothing will happen with that The courts in England and Wales reopened on 21 September 2020 for all possession claims. It is clear there will be a prioritisation of cases and notice periods will not revert back to the original timeframes

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