24 August, 2020
At the 11th hour, just before the stay was supposed to end this Sunday, 23 August 2020, the government has yet again extended the moratorium period on possessions claims. This time until 20 September 2020.
While this news will be welcomed by renters, it will be devastating to many private and social landlords and also to communities across the country, especially those that are suffering as a result of ongoing anti-social behaviour. While injunction and committal proceedings offer some respite, they are often no substitute for eviction and the fact that the courts are not able to evict tenant's, even in these circumstances, will be having a significant and detrimental effect on vulnerable people and communities.
While many tenants have fallen into rent arrears due to the effects of the pandemic it is clear that the courts will give consideration to such effects, especially with the introduction of Practice Direction 55C compelling landlords to reactivate their cases. For more information about this see my previous e-briefing; New Practice Direction 55C.
In many cases social landlords are not looking to evict tenants at all, but occupiers left in occupation following the termination of a tenant's tenancy. In these circumstances some unlawful occupiers are refusing to locate or accept suitable alternative accommodation or are unable or unwilling to pay for their use and occupation of the property, leaving landlord's unable to wield any rental income or re let the property.
While I appreciate that the effects of the Coronavirus will have had far reaching and difficult consequences for many tenants I am not sure that delaying possession and allowing rent arrears to increase significantly is really going to assist anyone in the long run.
Regardless of the consequences, a ban on evictions remains, and even as I conclude this briefing, I have been notified that 6-month notices may now also be introduced!
For more information contact Sarah Rogers in our Housing & Regeneration department via email or phone on 01772 220161. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.