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The New Section 8 Notice

confusion computerI have just, on this bank holiday Monday evening (as the new forms go live tomorrow), finished editing the Landlord Law section 8 notice for possession.

This is to bring it up to date with the new version, as set out in the snappily named The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) and Suspension (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021.

It is a NIGHTMARE!

How anyone, let alone the tenants, are going to understand it I don’t know.  I had great difficulty following it myself and I have over 20 years of experience in housing law!

When this form was first issued, back in 1989, it was OK.  Fairly straightforward and not too hard to follow, bearing in mind that it is a legal document.

However, since then the rules have been seriously hacked about, what with changes brought about by the Immigration Act, the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act and now the Breathing Space regs.

The notes on the form are a morass of incomprehensible qualifications and cross-references which just make your eyes glaze over.  

Unhappily for me I have had to read them properly as I need to make sure that my amended template is correct.  I found it impossible to get a sense of it all and was just grimly hanging on in there checking the wording line by line.

I suspect that whoever did the amends for the Ministry (MHCLG) found it a tiresome task too as I found a number of places where the notes did not seem to be grammatically correct and some lines would have read easier with a few commas.

The notice will go live on my site tomorrow – I think I will have to check it again tomorrow morning first just to make sure its right.  But please, please MHCLG people – can these forms at some stage be simplified!

Rant over!

Incidentally, does anyone know how long these new notice periods are going to last? 

Is it intended that we will ever go back to the original two months / two weeks notice periods or is this something that won’t be resolved until the Renters Reform Bill?

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