COVID19 – possession update

Residential evictions

In March 2020, the Government introduced emergency legislation to prevent landlords from starting eviction proceedings against tenants, initially for a period of three months.

On 5th June, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced a two-month extension to the Government's restriction on evicting renters amid the Covid-19 pandemic. New evictions in England and Wales of tenants in both social and privately-rented accommodation will be suspended until 23 August.

Jenrick also stated that eviction hearings will not be heard in court until the end of August 2020.

This is to protect renters in both social and private accommodation in these challenging times. It will allow those with financial difficulties the time to secure additional financial support introduced by the Government.

At High Court Enforcement Group, we will not be making any new eviction appointments until such time as the restriction is lifted. In the case of any planned evictions, we will contact you directly to discuss the situation.

Commercial property evictions

The Government has also ordered a moratorium on commercial landlord sanctions for at least three months, to prevent landlords from forfeiting the leases of tenants who miss rent payments because of coronavirus during this period.

The rent will still be due, this is only a delay on forfeiture – once the moratorium is lifted, the landlord will be able to exercise forfeiture or recover rent arrears.

Under CRAR, this has been amended so that there must now be 189 days’ rent owing before CRAR can be enforced.

Removal of “persons unknown”

There are no restrictions on evictions of trespassers or protesters under a writ of possession against persons unknown.

We will consider each case based on the urgency of the removal and the level of public interest involved, the likely availability of Police support and the health and safety of the enforcement agents, Police, occupants and general public.

If you do have a requirement in this area, please email us and we will contact you to discuss the details of the case and propose a course of action.

19th June 2020

The enforcement of writs of possession

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