SFA Notices to Vacate Update

Earlier this year, under the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Government amended the Tenancy Act 2019 to introduce emergency measures to protect tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic. For Service personnel and their families remaining in SFA following the end of their entitlement, either due to leaving Service or estrangement, DIO followed Government advice by pausing, from March 2020, Notice to Vacate (NTV) action to regain possession of properties. Following a recent amendment to the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020, landlords can, from 29 August 2020, recommence action to provide notice to their tenants. Until March 2021, landlords must provide six months’ notice before they can begin eviction proceedings. In line with this amendment, DIO has now been given authority to recommence NTV action from 4 January 2021 on a phased basis. We shall continue to follow Government guidance in relation to the notice period; the period of the NTV will be for a minimum period of six months, as opposed to the normal 93 days, for any issued until March 2021, when revised Government guidance is expected. This period will allow those Service personnel and families who have lost their entitlement more time to make alternative housing arrangements. Since action was paused in March 2020, a backlog of cases has built up and we plan to spread the issue of NTV over a 3-4 month period, starting with the oldest cases first. All occupants are aware that they have lost their entitlement to occupy SFA and we will continue to provide details of how they can find support and source alternative accommodation. If affected Service Personnel and/or families have any concerns or enquiries then they should please contact DIO’s Loss of Entitlement Team at DIORDAccn-LOETeam@mod.gov.uk. The team will not be contactable via the usual telephone numbers due to social distancing measures still being in place. More information on this update can be found here.

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