The snappily named Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (moratorium Debt) (Consequential Amendment) (England) Regulations came into force on Monday 3 May 2021.

The big news is that the Notice Seeking Possession (NSP) prescribed form has been amended to incorporate references to the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 which also came into force on Monday. This is a prescribed form so must be used. Please see our recent ebriefing for more information on “Breathing Space”.

As has become the norm in the last 12 months, advanced notice of the new form was not given by the Government. To further complicate matters, the form that was initially released on Friday afternoon was incorrect. It contained details of the earliest dates on which proceedings could be brought...but these failed to take into account the new notice periods under the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: protection from Eviction)(Amendment)(England) Regulations 2020 (as amended).

Thankfully the form for Assured tenancies has been amended this morning and is now available. This exact form MUST be used.

Interestingly, the form for Secure Tenancies does not seem to have been changed. Clients should exercise caution on these cases until it is clear if a revised form is produced.

Conclusion
If any client issued an NSP on Friday afternoon/Monday using the first form that was released, a new NSP will now need to be served.

Similarly, any client who served an NSP on Thursday 29 April 2021 or Friday 30 April 2021 by post, using the old form, will now also need to re-serve those notices. This is because, on the date of deemed service i.e. 3 May 2021, the wrong form has been used and therefore renders the NSP invalid.

For more information

For further information and assistance on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact Suzanne Gregson or any other member of the housing litigation team.