In March 2020, a ‘Tenant Eviction Ban’ was introduced in England and Wales as the Government took steps to enhance security for individuals in rented accommodation as they faced economic uncertainty. Since March, the ban has been extended past the original deadline on numerous occasions. On 14th February 2021, the ban was once again extended until 31st March 2021, meaning that Bailiffs are unable to enforce evictions until after this date. Generally, it takes 6-8 weeks to obtain a Possession Order, meaning that it is likely that Tenants will remain protected until June, although each case differentiates.
Exceptions to the ban apply in severe circumstances such as illegal occupation, anti-social behaviour, and rent arrears of six months or more. If you are unsure as to whether your case falls into one of these categories, we recommend you seek legal advice from our Dispute Resolution Lawyers.
To support the life of the ban, the Housing Secretary announced a number of temporary arrangements for the letting market back in August 2020. The new rules do not alter the section 21 and 8 notice procedures but alter the steps which Landlords must take if they want to apply for possession through the Courts. The new requirements are as follows:
- Until 31st March 2021, Landlords must give Tenants six months’ notice if they wish to regain possession of their property. There may be exceptions to this six-month notice period in possession cases which relate to serious issues such as domestic abuse, antisocial behaviour, and where rent arrears of more than six months have been incurred.
- If you made a claim for possession to the Courts before 3rd August 2020 and you still wish to regain possession of your property, you will now be required to order a ‘Reactivation Notice’, and to notify your Tenant and the Courts of your decision. There is a six-month time limit in which you need to serve your Reactivation Notice. If you fail to serve this notice you run the risk of your case being dismissed.
- If you made a claim for possession to the Courts before 3rd August 2020 and you no longer wish to regain possession of your property, you will also be required to notify the Courts of your decision as soon as possible.
- If you made a claim for possession after 3rd August 2020, you will not be required to serve a ‘Reactivation Notice’, however, it is best practice to explain in greater detail how the pandemic has affected you as the Landlord and/or your Tenant(s) to set your case for possession.
- Landlords will be required to set out their case for possession in more detail than they may have done previously, identifying, and explaining any issues and impacts caused by Coronavirus.
Since 20th September 2020 the Courts have resumed hearing possession case hearings, and Landlords are now able to progress their possession claim through the Course. Cases will be heard based on their severity such as where a crime has been committed, antisocial behaviour has occurred or where the Landlord has not received rent for over 1 year and would face unmanageable debts.
Here at Hodgkinsons Solicitors, Skegness, our Team of Dispute Resolution Lawyers are experts in providing advice to Landlords and Tenants regarding renting out a property. If you are looking for legal advice on your responsibilities and obligations as a Landlord, or your rights as a Tenant, our Landlord & Tenant Lawyers can help you. Our Lawyers have over 39 years’ experience in Landlord & Tenant Law and have an excellent reputation for assisting Landlords and Tenants both locally and nationwide throughout the East Midlands and rural Lincolnshire to include Skegness, Boston, Louth, Lincoln, and Grimsby. To get the expert legal advice you need, call Hodgkinsons Solicitors on 01754 897150 or submit a contact form now to request a call back.