September 2020: Changes to Notice Periods

Sep 3, 2020Latest News

Changes to notice periods & the current housing market

Dear all

It has been some weeks since I last updated you with any information regarding Covid-19; its effects and what this means for you.

There has been a very significant change to notice period legislation and Court Proceedings that I wanted to make you aware of. As you will know from previous newsletters the Courts were suspended for possession cases until June, then August, and this has now been pushed back to the 20th September.

Fortunately, we have continued to work with clients and tenants alike with few problems and the national picture is very positive generally with rent arrears, which is mirrored with our own stock of properties that we manage on your behalf.

We have very few real cases of concern but obviously are working hard on these. We do not currently have a single case where possession proceedings through the County Court is being sought, which is of some credit to my staffs work, many of you being exceptionally understanding and assisting tenants, as well as the tenants themselves acting with integrity.

It is therefore somewhat frustrating to learn that the Court dates were moved but this will not affect us greatly. What is more of a challenge is that the UK Government has now announced that notice periods are to be increased from the 3 months (it was 2 months prior to covid-19) to 6 months. This will also include rent arrears. Simply put you would have to wait for your tenant to be 6 months in arrears before a Court would hear a case for possession and they are prioritising domestic abuse cases, serious rent arrears (read that as 6 months +!) and severe anti social behaviour and disturbance cases. You can find the updated information on the UK Government website here.

Fortunately we are not aware of any severe noise cases nor domestic abuse cases and we certainly have no tenants that are even close to being 6 months in arrears – some positive news there.

The purpose of this email therefore is to simply advise you that should you require possession of your property back I would have to serve a 6 month notice period. If you have any questions or concerns re the above please do not hesitate to contact me.

Current Market

I am pleased to end this brief newsletter with the good news that the market has remained, in the past weeks, very strong. We currently have 1 property available out of our letting stock of 300ish properties we manage, with several properties that are having refurbishment due to come on. I have real confidence currently that there will be very short voids when these do come back on to the market.

As I have stated previously I cannot predict the future but there are only several real certainties in this life and one of those being that people need somewhere to live and we most certainly have a greater demand than supply of housing in and around Brighton and Hove. It’s still a great place to invest!

I would like to end by thanking you all for your business and for those of you who I have spoken to these past 6 months or so during very trying times. I hope you appreciate these newsletters and if there is any topics that you would like me to focus on please do drop me a line.

As ever if you have the time, particularly during these challenging business conditions, I would be most grateful if you drop a ‘like’ or nice comment on our social media pages. It really does help.

If you need any assistance at all please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards
Stephen Chipp

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