In accordance with The Coronavirus Act 2020 (on which we commented here and here) landlords must give tenants at least three months' notice of the intention to seek possession of residential accomodation let under the Rent Act 1977, the Housing Act 1985 or the Housing Act 1988.

As a result of the emergency legislation the prescibed forms of notice have been updated to reflect the increased notice periods.

The revised section 83 Notice Seeking Possession in relation to secure tenancies under the Housing Act 1985 can be seen here.  

The revised section 8 Notice Seeking Possession and the revised section 21 Notice Requiring Possession in relation to assured and assured shorthold tenancies can be found here.

Whilst the notice periods have been increased and the Civil Procedure Rules have stayed all possession claims for 90 days under PD51Z (see further here) the contractual relationship between the landlord and tenant remains and tenants must comply with their obligations including the obligation to pay rent. 

Many social landlords are considering 'rent holiday' periods or had already taken the decision to postpone all possession action during these unprecedented times and that is welcome news. However, where possession action is required landords must use these amended forms of notice and can apply to court for possession on expiry of the three month notice albeit that claim will then be adjourned in the event that PD51Z remains in force.