The Coronavirus Act 2020 is now in force. Private landlords, in most cases, now need to give three months notice before commencing possession claims to evict tenants. Three months notice is required irrespective of the reason for the eviction. The new notice periods apply in England and Wales. New prescribed forms apply in England.
The amended notice period will initially apply until 30.09.20.
Guidance from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government applies from today. The guidance in part applies to possession proceedings for eviction. The guidance includes the following extract.
“…neither cases currently in the or about to go into the system can progress to the stage where someone can be evicted.”
The moratorium on tenant evictions will last initially for
90 days, but there is a reserved power to extend it.
Dealing with the New Legislation and Guidance
Notices should, in many cases, be served as soon as possible. Our understanding of the new rules is that possession proceedings for eviction can be commenced. However the phrase in the guidance: “…the stage where someone can be evicted” is a little unclear.
Will a hearing be listed and a possession order made with conditions about it’s enforcement? Will the court simply not list possession claims for the time being? Will the courts all adopt the same approach to the new rules?
Further, the guidance doesn’t deal with the enforcement of possession orders where the writ or warrant has already been issued for bailiffs to attend.
In appropriate cases, the landlord’s best course action may be to press ahead. The extended notice period is unavoidable. The guidance to prevent tenant evictions will be temporary regardless of how it works in practice. The best plan may to push on and get an early place in the queue for when things start to return to normal.
Simon J Vollans & Co
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