Update On Evictions During Lockdown

We recently brought news of the “winter truce” on residential evictions under the 3-tier system and subsequent lockdown, which effectively meant that possession orders would generally not be enforced until 11th January 2021.

Since then The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020 have come into force, which set out the limited circumstances in which evictions may still take place during this period.

Essentially a possession order can still be enforced between now and 11th January 2021 if certain conditions apply. These include where:

  • The possession order is against a trespasser
  • The possession order was made due to anti-social behaviour
  • The possession order was made due to issues with domestic violence, or fraud
  • The possession order was made due to rent arrears, as long as there were at least 9 months of arrears before 23rd March 2020

Realistically this means that most residential landlords will be unable to enforce possession orders until after 11th January 2021, as orders made on the above grounds are less common than those arising from rent arrears or on the basis of a Section 21 “no fault” notice. The regulations also highlight the recurring theme that the rent arrears must be substantial before evictions can take place during the current pandemic.

The ever-evolving landscape caused by the pandemic means that there are often changes and updates in relation to residential possession matters that both landlords and tenants need to be aware of. If you require any further advice on these issues, or on anything else relating to landlord and tenant matters, please email Fiona Hannaford or call on 01803 403403.

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