The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has issued new prescribed forms of notice under section 8 (Form 3) and section 21 (Form 6A) of the Housing Act 1988 (HA 1988) and section 83 of the Housing Act 1985 (HA 1985) for use in England from 1 October 2021.
The new notices are in the form prescribed by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies and Notices) (Amendment and Suspension) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/994).
With effect from and including 1 October 2021, the Regulations suspend paragraphs 2, 3, 5 to 10(1) of Schedule 29 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CVA 2020) so that:
The notice period to be given in a notice under section 8 of the HA 1988 (Form 3) in respect of an Assured or Assured Shorthold tenancy, reverts to the pre-pandemic notice period for the relevant ground or grounds for possession;
The minimum notice period to be given under section 21(1)(b) and 21(4)(a) of the HA 1988 (Form 6A) in respect of an Assured Shorthold tenancy reverts to two months, and
The notice period to be given under section 83 of the HA 1985 in respect of a Secure tenancy reverts to the pre-pandemic notice period.
The new prescribed forms reflect the return of residential notice periods in England to those before the CVA 2020 came into force in March 2020. However, the Regulations retain the flexibility to impose longer periods of notice, if necessary, until 25 March 2022.
Amendments have been made to the Section 8 Notice (Form 3) and Section 21 Notice (Form 6A). Form 3 has been re-named "Notice of intention to begin proceedings for possession". The information set out in bullet-point notes in earlier versions of the Section 8 Notice have been removed and are now found in a separate document called Guidance Notes for Landlords and Tenants suggesting that landlords should serve these notes on the tenant with the section 8 Notice.
The Section 21 Notice (From 6A) has also been updated to remove notes concerning the use of section 21 notices and these notes are now found in the Notes for Form 6A which notes are described as guidance designed to help landlords and tenants understand their rights and responsibilities in relation to a Notice requiring possession of a property in England let on an Assured Shorthold tenancy (Form 6A) suggesting that these notes should be served on the tenant with the section 21 notice.
Finally, the Technical guidance on eviction notices was also updated on 1 October 2021.
From 1 October 2021, all notice periods will return to the pre-Covid lengths.