Stay on possession proceedings ends
Back in March 2020, the UK government put emergency rules into place that suspended all possession claims and the enforcement of any possession orders already made. On September 20th 2020 this came to an end for all residential tenancies.
So, what does that mean for residential landlords that are now looking to commence new possession claims or resurrect claims that had begun before the emergency legislation?
How landlords can move forward
Any evictions claims brought before August 3rd which were automatically stayed can now be relisted by filing a reactivation notice with the relevant court. You currently have until January 2021 to do this, although this deadline could be further extended. For claims brought after August 3rd, a reactivation notice does not need to be filed.
In addition, all evictions where final possession orders are already in place can resume from 21 September onwards.
The government has also extended the notice period that landlords are required to give tenants to six months. This will remain in place until at least 31st March 2021. Whilst this will apply for the majority of cases, shorter notice periods can be given when the reason for eviction is rent arrears exceeding six months, anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse or false statement.
Unless the original directions can be complied with, case management directions received before 21st September will be rescheduled and an application for a proposed new hearing date may be required.
It should be noted that the courts have warned of a backlog of cases caught up in the suspension and are encouraging the parties to engage in settlement discussions. Additionally, the ban on commercial tenancies has been extended until the end of 2020.
Please get in touch if you have questions or queries in relation to how this could affect you and your business and we will be happy to offer guidance on how to manage the new rules: firstname.lastname@example.org.