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Exceptions to the Christmas Evictions Ban

Exceptions to the Christmas Evictions Ban

Exceptions to the Christmas Evictions Ban

Will Bartley, specialist in landlord & tenant law, has been following developments in eviction law throughout the coronavirus pandemic. In his latest article, he looks at the recently announced exceptions to the Christmas truce on evictions.

Ban on evictions over Christmas

The Government’s ban or pause on Christmas evictions was announced on 5th November.

The announcement was the latest in a series of unprecedented steps taken by the government to protect vulnerable tenants who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

There was the announcement of the coronavirus ban on evictions in March, which was subsequently extended, followed by changes to eviction law and notice periods. The final set of changes extended the notice period for section 21 and section 8 evictions to six months from three.

Dates for Christmas eviction ban

The Winter Truce, which has also been referred to as the Christmas eviction ban or Christmas pause on evictions, was originally planned to run from 11 December 2020 to 11 January 2021. However, this was brought forward and will now start on November 17th 2020, running until 11th January 2021.

During this period, bailiffs will not be able to enforce possession orders in England and Wales (subject to the exceptions below).

Exceptions to the Christmas evictions truce

There are a small number of exceptions to the Christmas evictions truce that were announced in November. These are for anti-social behavior, domestic abuse and serious rent arrears.

Details have now been announced, and are outlined in Shelter’s useful guidance here, however we have provided a summary below:

Exceptions to eviction truce for rent arrears

Serious rent arrears before March 2020

Eviction of secureassured or regulated tenants can go ahead if:

  • the notice, warrant or writ relates wholly or partly to a possession order made on the grounds of rent arrears
  • at the time when the possession order was granted rent arrears were equal or greater to 9 months’ worth of rent.
  • For the purpose of calculating the amount of rent arrears, any amount accrued after 23rd March 2020 is disregarded

Exceptions to eviction truce for other reasons

It will be for the Court to have already determined by the granting of the possession order the severity of the below categories required for enforcement, and therefore if a Possession order has already been granted by the Court for one of the below reasons, the order should be enforceable by the Bailiffs, and therefore exempt to the delays.

  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Nuisance or annoyance, illegal or immoral use of the property
  • Domestic violence
  • Obtaining the tenancy by false statement
  • Trespassers

Christmas Evictions Truce: Legal Advice for landlords

If you are a landlord and are seeking clarification over the Christmas truce, or have a general eviction enquiry, please contact us for a free initial consultation where we can advise you on

the most efficient way of recovering possession of your property.

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

Will Bartley is one of our bright lawyers in our specialist dispute resolution team. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, he has been keeping landlords and tenants up to date with changes in guidance and legislation. 

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

Can tenants be evicted over Christmas?

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?