Evictions and the Coronavirus Act
Following on from Will Bartley’s article, Ban on evictions due to Coronavirus, he has provided an update on developments in the law.
Suspension of evictions extended
The government has just announced an extension to the suspension of evictions across England and Wales.
The two-month extension was announced on the 5th of June.
How long will the ban on evictions last?
Evictions from social or private rented accommodation are now suspended until at least 23rd August.
The government also announced that “New court rules will ensure vulnerable renters will be protected when the suspension of evictions ends”.
It also aims to ensure that no one is evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.
Rt Hon Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary said of the ban on evictions:
“We have provided an unprecedented package of support for renters during this pandemic. Today, I am announcing that the government’s ban on evictions will be extended for another 2 months. That takes the moratorium on evictions to a total of 5 months.
Eviction hearings will not be heard in courts until the end of August and no-one will be evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.
We are also working with the judiciary on proposals to ensure that when evictions proceedings do recommence, arrangements, including rules, are in place to assist the court in giving appropriate protections for those who have been particularly affected by coronavirus – including those tenants who have been shielding.”
The Coronavirus Act: landlords & tenants
As a reminder, the key points from the legislation are as follows:
Can I still issue my tenant with an eviction Notice?
The answer to this is yes. You can still give tenants a Section 21 Notice and a Section 8 Notice. However, both now must give the tenant a 3 month Notice period whilst this legislation is in place.
Issuing eviction proceedings during coronavirus lockdown
You can still issue proceedings in Court requesting a possession Order, however there is currently a freeze on the Courts progressing the claims. They will therefore in all likelihood sit in a queue at the Court until the legislation is lifted.
How long do restrictions on evictions during coronavirus last?
The changes that have been announced for eviction Notices are in place until 30th September 2020 in England and Wales. The suspension of possession proceedings in Court was for an initial 90 days, due to expire towards the end of June, however this has now been extended to the 23rd of August.
Can the coronavirus ban on evictions be extended further?
The UK Government has the power to amend or extend the suspension of housing possessions for however long it sees fit while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will provide updates to our clients and followers as soon as we hear from the Government.
Do the changes apply to ongoing possession proceedings?
The changes apply to all current possession proceedings and also apply to eviction Notices served on or after 26th March 2020.
How we can help landlords at this stage
We can still serve eviction Notices on your tenants and issue possession proceedings in Court for you. However, the Notices will need to give 3 months’ notice and the Court proceedings are subject to the delays set out above. If you wish to speak to us about eviction issues, please feel free to contact us for an initial discussion.
Coronavirus: Updates for landlords and tenants
We will continue to monitor this situation as it develops and will be providing updates and advice to any new or existing clients throughout the Coronavirus crisis. If you have an enquiry that you wish to discuss, please feel free to contact us on 01202 499255 or fill out the form on this page.
We have a dedicated coronavirus page, where we will post links to all articles, fact sheets and downloads concerning the outbreak and implications for businesses and individuals.