Six-month eviction notice: what the new rules mean for buy-to-let landlords


Last week, the government extended the tenant eviction ban for a further four weeks. Buy-to-let landlords must also now give renters six months’ notice to repossess.

Back at the start of lockdown, the government announced a complete ban on evictions across England and Wales. This measure was to prevent additional hardship for those who had been directly effected by coronavirus.

After an initial three-month period, the government extended the ban for a further two months. Now, four more weeks has been added to the scheme, meaning courts will not hear repossession cases until 20 September. This means tenants will have been safe from legal eviction for six months so far this year.

Further to this, landlords in England will now need to give tenants’ a six-month notice period of eviction. As a result, most tenants will now be able to stay in their homes until at least the end of March.

Courts will prioritise worst cases

Buy-to-let landlords facing issues such as anti-social or criminal behaviour from tenants or extreme rent arrears will be top priority when courts reopen. This means those who wish to evict due to other reasons may need to wait a while longer.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I know this year has been challenging and all of us are still living with the effects of COVID-19. That is why today I am announcing a further 4 week ban on evictions, meaning no renters will have been evicted for 6 months.”

“I am also increasing protections for renters – 6 month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter.

“However, it is right that the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, begin to be heard in court again; and so when courts reopen, landlords will once again be able to progress these priority cases.”

The Housing Department statement also points out that most landlords have supported tenants. It says they have shown “understanding and leadership”, with 8% of landlords reducing rents.

Protection for the rental sector

The eviction ban has given thousands of tenants some much-needed stability during the pandemic. Before the new measures, tenants were also protected in a number of ways.

Landlords could only evict their tenants using a Section 21 or Section 8 notice. The Section 21 “no-fault eviction” has been under review by the industry for some time, however. Landlords must also follow a series of set procedures to evict a tenant successfully. If they don’t, the tenant can appeal against the eviction.

For landlords, the government has made mortgage payment holidays available. Like other homeowners, landlords can apply for a payment break through their lender to help with financial difficulties. This scheme runs until the end of October at present.

While many in the industry have welcomed the latest eviction extension, others fear landlords are bearing the brunt.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), said: “Landlords have been left powerless in exercising their legal right to deal with significant arrears unrelated to Covid-19, antisocial behaviour and extremely disruptive tenants who make life miserable for their neighbours and housemates.”

“There must now be a plan to support households to pay their bills and to compensate landlords fully for their lost income.”

How have buy-to-let landlords fared through coronavirus?

According to a recent poll by the NRLA, the vast majority of tenants have paid rent through the crisis. More than 95% have either made full payments, or set up agreements with their landlords.

The research shows 87% of landlords received full pay with no issues from renters. Just 3% have reported tenants in arrears who are unwilling or unable to resolve the issue.

NRLA’s Ben Beadle added: “Consistent with our previous surveys, this latest data demonstrates that the vast majority of landlords and tenants are working together constructively to sustain tenancies, and critically that the overwhelming majority of tenants are paying as normal.

“Eviction is not, and need not be, an inevitable outcome where tenants have struggled to pay their rent due to COVID-19. Those who argue otherwise are stoking needless anxiety for tenants.”

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800


Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator


Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.


Not a member? Sign up for free


Six-month eviction notice: what the new rules mean for buy-to-let landlords


By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.