The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have given safeagent clarification on what the introduction of Tier 4 means for tenants, agents and landlords.
- All measures currently in place – longer notice periods of six months, court rules and arrangements and restrictions on bailiff enforcement will continue to apply across all local tiers, including Tier 4.
- The current regulations regarding bailiff enforcement are in place until 11 January. This means that no eviction notices are to be served until 11 January at the earliest except in the most serious cases and, given the 14-day notice period required, no evictions are expected to be enforced until 25 January 2021.
- The measures requiring landlords to provide longer notice periods of 6 months except in the most serious cases, such as anti-social behaviour and rent arrears of more than 6 months, apply across all tiers and are in place until 31 March 2021.
- Home moves can continue to take place across all tiers and landlords can take steps to carry out repairs and safety inspections across all tiers, provided these are undertaken in line with public health advice and the relevant coronavirus (COVID-19) legislation. Any relevant local advice should also be followed.
- Financial support measures also remain in place across all tiers – the Job Retention and Self Employment Support Scheme have recently been extended until the end of April and the application window for the mortgage payment holiday has been extended until the end of March 2021.
- Government COVID-19 and renting guidance to reflect that the national restrictions have ended and the return to a local tier approach. The updated guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities
- The updated guidance on navigating the possession process for landlords and tenants in the PRS is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-the-possession-action-process-guidance-for-landlords-and-tenants
The Government is keeping the policy in this area under review and will provide more information on next steps in due course. They say they have taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic and will continue to do so.