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Ban on Bailiff enforcement of eviction Orders extended to March

Ban on Bailiff enforcement of eviction Orders extended to March

Further extension to the ban of Bailiff enforcement of eviction Orders in England

The Government announced that the ban of Bailiff enforcement of eviction Orders in England has been extended until the end of March.

Since this article has been published, the eviction ban has been extended again until May. Here is my article on the latest extension.

Will BartleyLandlord & Tenant specialist, who has been keeping you up to date will all developments in eviction law throughout the pandemic, breaks down the announcement and give you everything you need to know.

When has the ban been extended to?

The ban on eviction enforcement by Bailiffs has been extended until 31st March 2021.

The current eviction ban was set to come to an end on 22 February, however this extension means that enforcement of Bailiff eviction notices cannot be served for another 6 weeks; for all but the most serious cases.

The first eviction ban was put in place back in March 2020, after lockdown was first introduced. It continued for 6 months before the ban was briefly lifted in September, in order to 'clear the backlog' of eviction hearings.

Has the guidance for substantial rent arrears changed?

No, the guidance remains unchanged for arrears; meaning that substantial arrears with at least six months’ rent and rent accrued since the start of the pandemic are still not excluded (as per The Governments' changes in January).

If you would like to know more about substantial arrears please click here.

There are also further exemptions whereby some tenants may still face evictions being enforced by Bailiffs, for example where the Order has been granted on specific grounds such as anti-social behaviour. For full information on this, please contact us for further information.

How have people reacted to the further extension of the eviction ban?

Concerns have been raised regarding the build-up of rent arrears, an estimated 500,000 renters are in arrears since the pandemic started.

Polly Neate from the Housing and homelessness charity Shelter said: 'Before the ban is lifted, the government must give renters a real way out of debt'.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick stated that the Governments' actions to support renters during the pandemic is "the right balance between protecting tenants and enabling landlords to exercise their right to justice"

National Residential Landlords Association's chief executive Ben Weadle said: (Renters with arrears will have to) 'leave their home and face serious damage to their credit scores'. Ben called for financial support for these tenants.

A specialist landlord & tenant solicitors' view

Will Bartley, Tenant & Landlord Dispute Resolution Solicitor, said:

"Whilst S.21 and S.8 Notices can continue to be served on tenants, and possession proceedings continue to proceed and be heard at Court, the extension on the ban for Bailiff enforcement of Court eviction Orders would appear frustrating for the vast majority of landlords at this stage. It would appear that this is leading to an increase of lawful eviction Orders sitting there waiting to be enforced, and it is clear that it is going to take a significant amount of time for the Bailiffs to clear the back log once the ban is eventually lifted. This will no doubt contributed to ongoing rent arrears, whilst creating a wave of concentrated homelessness at that time, which would not appear beneficial to any party involved."

For further advice or for more updates on landlord and tenant law, please feel free to contact Will Bartley on 01202 499255.

Landlord & tenant solicitors in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and The New Forest

If you wish for us to assist you with eviction related enquiries, including drafting and issuing proceedings or eviction notices, please feel free to contact us on 01202 499255.

We offer all new clients a free initial chat with one of our bright, friendly lawyers over the phone or by video call.

Related landlord & tenant articles

You may find the following articles useful if you are affected by any of the issues  outlined in this article.

Extension to eviction ban and changes to substantial arrears

When will the coronavirus ban on evictions end?

Extension to ban on evictions due to coronavirus

Does the Stamp Duty holiday apply to buy to let properties

Is your rented accommodation fit for purpose? What is the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018? 

What is the UK Renters Reform Bill and Lifetime Deposit Scheme?