In a previous article, which is available here, Landlord & Tenant Law specialist at Holmes & Hills Solicitors, David Sodimu discussed the changes to the notice periods for eviction notices arising from the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the ban placed on possession claims introduced by the Master of the Rolls and Lord Chancellor.
On 27 March 2020, the Courts suspended all ongoing possession proceedings for a period of 90 days under practice direction 51Z of the Civil Procedure Rules. This meant that neither possession claims currently issued, nor possession claims about to be issued, could progress to the stage where a tenant could be evicted.
On 5 June 2020 the Government extended the ban on proceedings claims for a further two months to 25 August 2020 upon the request of the Lord Chancellor. The decision has been made pursuant to the powers set out in section CPR 51.2 of the Civil Procedure Rules and the extension will come into effect on 25 June 2020.
The ban applies to all proceedings for possession brought under CPR 55 save for the following exceptions:
Tenants’ liability to pay rent remains unchanged. Government support for tenants is available where income has been adversely affected by Covid-19. However, Landlords are still encouraged to work with tenants to find workable solutions where possible.
Although the general lockdown restrictions appear to be easing, it is important for landlords not to expect an immediate recovery of rent arrears from their tenants and to be prepared to take action where possible, notwithstanding the extension of the ban. Here are some practical tips on what still can be done:
Whilst the motivation behind the extension is clearly the protection of tenants at risk of eviction due to the effects of Covid-19, the extension is causing a significant wave of distress for many Landlords around the UK where tenants are dishonestly taking advantage of the current ban on evictions.
If you are a landlord and require advice on dealing with a tenant, recovering arrears or evicting a tenant, contact David Sodimu, Landlord & Tenant Law specialist at Holmes & Hills Solicitors.