The government announced in March that it was suspending all housing possession proceedings to protect private and social renters, and those with mortgages and licences because of the impact of the Covid-19.
This stay on all possession claims came to an end on Sunday 20th September.
What does this mean for both Landlords and Tenants from Monday 21st September?
Nothing! Unless either landlord or tenant writes to the court with a reactivation notice (i.e. a letter/email requesting the court to continue with the claim). If this is not provided, the case will NOT automatically be re-listed or progressed.
What happens if neither party writes to the court with a reactivation notice?
Your case could eventually be struck out (i.e. brought to an end immediately).
What changes are there if any to the procedure of possession claims?
- Landlords will have to comply with new directions, which will involve having to set out their case in more detail than before.
- Both tenants and landlords will have to flag up any COVID-related issues.
- New possession cases will be listed for a ‘review date’, allowing tenants more time than before to take advice in advance of any court hearing.
Why it is important to act fast if you are a landlord wishing to gain repossession of your property?
The government is being urged to bring forward legislation to allow judges to use discretion where a tenant is in arrears due to the pandemic. Such discretion could include considering whether a pre-action protocol has been complied with.
It is also being urged to accelerate its plans to abolish ‘no-fault evictions’ under section 21 of the 1998 act within the next 12 months.
As a result of both the pandemic and the likely future changes, it is likely to become more difficult than ever before to obtain possession of your rental property.
If you are concerned that either proceeding you have already issued may struggle to achieve a possession order, you may want the best chance at any new proceedings you issue to succeed, or you may a tenant hoping not to be evicted at this time, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team who can advise and provide assistance.