Alteration made by the government to a key form that landlords use to evict tenants are inaccurate and ‘do not comply with the law’ a leading legal expert has claimed.

On Friday LandlordZONE reported that legislation covering Section 8 notices had been amended to require landlords to include multiple references to and provisions for the ‘breathing space’ debt respite scheme from today onwards within Form 3.

At the time we flagged up to the housing ministry that many legal experts within the sector were concerned that the update to this template was inaccurate.

The ministry subsequently said it would update the guidance in time for today’s deadline.

Not compliant

But leading property lawyer David Smith (pictured below) of JMW Solicitors says the now updated template does not comply with the law despite his flagging up the problem to the ministry.

“The new form is meant to have its first and second bullet points in the ‘earliest date proceedings can be brought section’ replaced with five bullet points,” he says.

“This hasn’t happened. The first three bullet points have been replaced and one of the other bullet points has been interpolated in between the five new ones. It makes more sense that way but it’s not what the legislation requires.”

The Debt Respite or ‘Breathing Space’ Scheme is designed to protect a variety of people who may have built up problem debt caused by the pandemic.

As the form template sets out, the scheme impacts both the evictions process and how landlords interact with guarantors.

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