With the lockdown slowly unwinding, many landlords and tenants are looking to see where the current guidelines on evictions as imposed by the Government in the face of the pandemic, leaves them. The Government has recently extended the evictions ban, and it will remain unlawful to evict most residential tenants until 31 May 2021 at the earliest.
It is not yet clear whether any further extensions are likely, as the official Government announcement makes clear that the ban runs until ‘at least’ 31 May 2021.
The Regulations now state that it is unlawful to attend a residential property to either carry out an eviction or give notice of an eviction, unless specific exceptional circumstances applies. These exceptional circumstances include substantial rent arrears. For much of 2020, rent arrears accrued since March 2020 had been excluded but the definition was changed in January so that outstanding rent arrears are now defined as six months unpaid rent. Other exceptional circumstances may apply, which includes anti-social behaviour and several other limited reasons.
The Regulations apply only to actual evictions, and many other aspects of the possession procedure, such as Court proceedings to get a possession order continue. However, the temporary changes to the Court process that were introduced in Autumn 2020 have also been extended until at least the end of July 2021, along with the six-month notice periods for both Section 8 and Section 21 orders in the vast majority of circumstances.
Landlords who may consider circumventing the evictions ban, would be acting unlawfully and would place themselves at risk of a claim being made against them by their tenants for unlawful eviction.
If you would like to discuss any of the above issues, please do not hesitate to contact us on tel: 01892 515022.
This blog is not intended as legal advice that can be relied upon and CooperBurnett does not accept any responsibility for the accuracy of its contents.