The Government has announced that notice periods for those wishing to evict tenants will soon return to pre-pandemic levels. From 1st October 2021, landlords wishing to serve either a Section 21 or Section 8 notice will need to give two months’ notice, while in the most severe cases, such as serious rent arrears or anti-social behavior, only 2-4 weeks may be required.
While notice periods will return to their pre-pandemic levels from the end of September this year, it may not be plain sailing for landlords who wish to recover their buy-to-lets in order to sell and exit the rental market. We have already written about the hassles attached to the current eviction process but as we head into autumn, a new and niggling issue is appearing.
Courts playing catchup
Landlords should expect big backlogs in courts, as revealed by the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). The institution’s very latest report warns that eviction cases that enter the legal system now may not be completed until well into 2022. The forecast of more than 100,000 claims passing through the courts this year alone could delay the sale of tens of thousands of buy-to-let properties, throwing the plans of many landlords into turmoil.
Threat of rising arrears
The LSE report also warns that court proceedings could rise in the coming months as it has found twice as many tenants as normal are in rent arrears, with the number of tenants falling behind with rent payments likely to rise in the future. As a result, it’s feared the average time it takes to get an order – currently 42 weeks on average – is unlikely to fall. Worse still, it may even rise.
Retaining the power to revert
Although the emergency notice periods were a temporary move, introduced as part of the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Government said in September that it will ‘retain the power’ to re-introduce emergency measures until 25th March 2022. This means landlords could see a return to longer notice periods at any point in the next six months – a threat that will play on the minds of those who are seeing the first signs of trouble with their tenants.
The no-stress get out clause
Landlords are reminded that starting the eviction process and running the gauntlet of the court system isn’t the only way to dispose of a property asset where tenants are in situ. You can sell your property with sitting tenants to LandlordBuyer, even if they have built up a bank of arrears.
Unlike the eviction process in 2021, we offer a reliable, simple and speedy solution, with exchange and completion achieved in as little as seven working days. Our cash buying service is ideal for landlords who have no confidence in the court system or don’t have the time to wait months to reclaim and sell their property.
If you’d like to discuss how our service works, feel free to get in touch, or you can start right now – click here to request a cash offer for your buy-to-let.