The protection afforded to tenants as a result of the Coronavirus was extended again on the 20th August, when the stay on possession claims imposed by CPR 55.29 was extended for a further 4 weeks, to 20th September 2020.
This will cause further delays where Landlord’s seek to obtain an eviction order to enable them to evict a tenant.
Whilst this further delay is not ideal, we encourage Landlord’s to use this time wisely to ensure everything is in order in relation to any potential eviction proceedings.
In addition it was announced that;
“The government also intends to give tenants greater protection from eviction over the winter by requiring landlords to provide tenants with 6 months’ notice in all bar those cases raising other serious issues such as those involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators, until at least the end of March.
The government will keep these measures under review with decisions guided by the latest public health advice.
When courts do resume eviction hearings they will carefully prioritise the most egregious cases, ensuring landlords are able to progress the most serious cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes, as well as where landlords have not received rent for over a year and would otherwise face unmanageable debts.”
The extension to the notice period has now come into effect through The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020, depending on what grounds a landlord relies upon defines the requisite notice period.
Therefore, for reliance on a section 21 notice the period to be given is now 6 months.
We can assist Landlords with the drafting any notices and serving them to ensure the notice is valid. If a notice is served and then deemed invalid for any reason, the notice period will have to start again losing you valuable time and money.
The other point of consideration that has come into play recently is the new Civil Procedure Rule Practice Direction 55C, which were due to come into force on 24th August 2020 but since delayed until 20 September 2020.
The main noteworthy point that the Practice Direction stipulates is that a reactivation notice needs to be served to commence any possession action issued before 3 August 2020 and which has been stayed automatically by CPR55.29 to ensure it is relisted for a hearing.
There is no template for the reactivation notice as we write, but the practice direction sets out what should be included. We are happy to advise on this issue as required and will be discussing all these issues and more at our next Landlord forum on 16 September.
Book an appointment with a member of our dispute resolution team to discuss these points before the next forum.