TENANTS looking to challenge an eviction notice are being urged to seek legal advice.

The eviction ban introduced in March last year has only been extended until February 21 in England and Wales, after which landlords can legally enforce an eviction order.

Tenants who can not afford their rent due to the Covid-19 outbreak are being advised to contact their landlord to negotiate a payment plan, which could include a rent reduction or rent holiday.

Legally tenants are still required to pay their rent in full and any agreement made between the landlord and tenant to spread the cost should be documented.

Simon Roberts, Senior Associate Solicitor, DAS Law, said: “Prior to issuing legal proceedings for eviction, particularly where rent arrears are concerned, your landlord does have a protocol that they should follow.

“This will include evidencing that they have taken steps to understand your financial position and work with you to try and resolve the rent arrears. This may include agreeing on a payment plan.

“The Coronavirus Act 2020 also imposed a longer notice period for eviction notices served on tenants by the landlords seeking possession (namely Section 8 and Section 21 notices). The notice requirement was initially extended on 26 March 2020 requiring landlords to serve three months’ notice irrespective of whether a Section 8 or Section 21 notice was served.

“If you do have any concerns around the enforcement of a possession order, we urge you to seek legal advice.”

Currently in England and Wales moving home is still allowed, providing appropriate safety measures under public health guidance are taken, including social distancing.