Court service has suspended ALL ongoing housing possession action!

by Property 118

9:39 AM, 27th March 2020
About 6 months ago

Court service has suspended ALL ongoing housing possession action!

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Court service has suspended ALL ongoing housing possession action!

The government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home.

To ensure all renters are clear on the full package of support that is currently available to them, we are bringing this together into one place.

From today (26 March 2020) landlords will have to give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (i.e. serve notice that they want to end the tenancy) – this means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period. This extended buffer period will apply in law until 30 September 2020 and both the end point, and the three month notice period can be extended if needed. This protection covers most tenants in the private and social rented sectors in England and Wales, and all grounds of evictions. This includes possession of tenancies in the Rent Act 1977, the Housing Act 1985, the Housing Act 1996 and the Housing Act 1988. After three months if the tenant has not moved a landlord needs to apply to court in order to proceed.

From tomorrow (27 March 2020) following a decision by the Master of the Rolls with the Lord Chancellors agreement the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in the or any about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension of housing possessions action will initially last for 90 days, but this can be extended if needed. This measure will protect all private and social renters, as well as those with mortgages and those with licenses covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This will apply to both England and Wales.

Tenants are still liable for their rent and should pay this as usual. If they face financial hardship and struggle to pay this, support is available. In the first instance they should speak to their landlord if they think they will have difficulty meeting a rental payment, and in this unique context we would encourage tenants and landlords to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme. However we have also put specific measures in place:

  • We are working with the Master of Rolls to strengthen the pre-action protocol requirement and also extend this to the private rented sector. This will help landlords and tenants to agree reasonable repayment plans where rent arrears may have arisen.
  • We have already made £500 million available to fund households experiencing financial hardship.
  • As part of the workers’ support package, the Chancellor announced the government will pay up to 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a total of £2,500 per month, where workers are placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  • Both Universal Credit and Housing Benefit will increase and from April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area.

The government is also committed to supporting landlords, and maintaining the positive partnership between tenants and their landlords. That is why, in addition to the measures outlined above, we have also agreed with lenders that they will ensure support is available where it is needed for landlords. Landlords will also be protected by a 3 month mortgage payment holiday where they have a Buy to Let mortgages.

Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. An agreement for non-urgent repairs to be done later should be made between tenants and landlords. Local authorities are also encouraged to take a pragmatic, risk-based approach to enforcement.



Comments

Jaye

11:08 AM, 27th March 2020
About 6 months ago

Ok, I hear all this, but what if a private tenant stopped paying rent since last year and continue not to pay, pocket the 80% wages govt bail-out given to them etc. What do we do?

Annie Landlord

11:37 AM, 27th March 2020
About 6 months ago

I do actually agree with the government on this. It would be inhuman, not to mention medically dangerous, to evict anyone in the current crisis. They can't employ a removals firm, they can't view or move into new accommodation and may have lost their income. They may well, literally, end up on the streets, putting themselves and others at risk. However, and it's a big HOWEVER, landlords whose possessions (for arrears, damage or ASB) began before this announcement should be compensated directly by government so they don't suffer a financial loss. Those cases should be at the head of the queue when the courts reopen and possession should be granted immediately.
My take is that is addition to ending S21 the government will also retain 3 months notice as the norm in future

Dennis Stephenson

14:52 PM, 27th March 2020
About 6 months ago

I know this is strictly not on thread but I was watching Discovery Science last night and twice and ad for Shelter popped up. Full of vague statements ( I listened closely to what was being said and nothing factual but just insinuations ) and mentioning a health worker that is being threatened with eviction and asking for £10 towards their coffers. Brazen, is what I call it.

zhorik

8:14 AM, 28th March 2020
About 6 months ago

in my case i am a homeless landlord, living on friends spare rooms and floors, While i was abroad i let out my house using a company who sublet to a tenant. In 2018 the tenant was given notice to quit as the tenancy had expired, however because the company took advance rent and no deposit the judge ruled that it was a disguised deposit. fianally this year in February the company got an order and the tenant was supposed to leave march 11 , they never did. submission was made to the courts for a bailiff order a few days later. The advice of Councils and lawyers has caused this and yet i suffer. There is nothing that dangerous about Covid 19, Flu kills as many people and yet we do not react this way. Death rates range form 0.1% in China(5.6% in wuhan) to 10% in Italy (though in Itay it is probably lower as thet do not test for younger people ). Do i have to crash on peoples floors for another 3/4 months.

Stephen Turner

9:13 AM, 28th March 2020
About 6 months ago

My tenants possession order was submitted before this ruling, it was listed for april 20th, now I've had court notice that its suspended!! Can I get my £325 back?

Derek t

10:47 AM, 28th March 2020
About 6 months ago

Anyone know where I stand I had applied for bailiff to carry out the possession order on a tenant who is three months behind in rent over £2100 with 0 chance of getting paid will that still be valid when they allow the courts to start again ? Also I served another tenant section 21 on the 19th March as they were two months in arrears and had their housing be if it stopped as they were no longer eligible to claim but I was not told why this was would this still be valid as it was related to things before the virus took hold. Appreciate any feed back

Stephen Turner

10:51 AM, 28th March 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Derek t at 28/03/2020 - 10:47
A seperate thread wod be appreciated for different questions...I'm awaiting answers on my thread here!!

Marie

12:29 PM, 28th March 2020
About 6 months ago

Where do lodgers stand in all of this? What are their rights?

Derek t

12:32 PM, 28th March 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Stephen Turner at 28/03/2020 - 10:51
I wasnt aware it was your thread I thought it was posted by property118 my apologies

Stephen Turner

12:37 PM, 28th March 2020
About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Derek t at 28/03/2020 - 12:32
Actually Derek the apologies mine, my first posting and I received an email from 118 saying you had replied...all very confusing, looks like were in the same boat too!

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