Government ban on evictions is extended
Published: 3 September 2020
At the end of August the Government extended the ban on evictions until 20 September 2020, and announced that landlords will have to give tenants six months’ notice if they intend to seek possession of their property.
This extended notice period will apply until at the end of March 2021, but does not apply to cases of domestic abuse or serious anti-social behaviour.
When possession proceedings recommence on 20 September 2020, the most serious cases will be prioritised so that those involving anti-social behaviour, crime and arrears of over 12 months are heard as a priority.
There are other changes to the eviction process announced in July, including the requirement for those wishing to resume possession proceedings to inform the court and tenant of their intention by issuing a reactivation notice.
The new Civil Procedures Rules mean that:
- Landlords are required to give information about their tenant’s circumstances, including the impact of the pandemic, when making a possession claim. This applies to all new as well as existing possession proceedings and if the information isn’t provided proceedings can be adjourned.
- Before a case can proceed landlords need to issue a ‘reactivation notice’ to the court and tenant to notify them of their wish to seek repossession. A reactivation notice is not required if a possession order has already been granted.
- Landlords are required to produce a history of rent arrears before a hearing rather than at the hearing itself.
- The requirement to fix a hearing date eight weeks after the claim form is issued to landlords will be suspended. The court will have flexibility on setting the date for the court hearing.
- High Court bailiffs will be required to provide tenants with notice of the eviction date, in the same way that notice is provided by county court bailiffs. The notice will include information on how the tenant can apply to suspend the eviction and where to go to for advice.
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