Government’s approach is almost certainly unlawful

by Property118.com News Team

9:53 AM, 29th October 2020
About a month ago

Government’s approach is almost certainly unlawful

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Government’s approach is almost certainly unlawful

Evidence is emerging that County Court Bailiffs and High Court Sheriffs (HCEOs) are declining to enforce warrants and writs of possession.

Guidance has apparently come from the Lord Chancellor to Bailiffs, and the High Court Enforcement Officers Association has also publicised a letter received from Robert Buckland, the Lord Chancellor, asking them not to enforce writs of possession in areas with Tier 2 and Tier 3 lockdowns.

David Smith, partner at JMW Solicitors, says: “Naturally, evictions create hardship for those being evicted, probably more so right now. However, leaving tenants with huge arrears in place also creates hardship as the debt will follow them.

“The problem with the Government’s approach is that it is almost certainly unlawful. It is not open to Bailiffs or HCEOs to simply decline to enforce warrants and writs, even if the Lord Chancellor asks them to do so. They have a duty to do this. Indeed, there is a power to complain to the County Court, in the County Courts Act, about losses resulting from Bailiffs not enforcing warrants.

“This approach flies in the face of the new structures created around the re-opening of the courts for possession. Of course the government can prevent evictions if it wishes to. But it should do so lawfully by making regulations under the appropriate legislation and allowing Parliament to review them, not through backdoor letters to enforcement bodies. I have offered to seek judicial review on this on a “no win, no fee” basis for affected landlords.”


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Comments

David

10:00 AM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Considering the usual lack of any believable reassurance or concrete action from my MP on this and every other matter I have raised with her concerning the attack on landlords a legal challenge should be made .However if this is deemed illegal I am sure the government will implement other measures to ensure tenants can not be evicted.

S Hindosh

10:26 AM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Possibly the eviction ban is still in place of some sort or another. I have been monitoring the daily court listing at one particular court and there doesn't seem to be any repossession hearings after 6 weeks from the supposedly lifting of the ban on 21 Sep 2020.
The unlawful eviction ban, the ban on bailiff and the unreasonably reactivation notice requirements will help tenants to black mail landlords in order to give possession back rather than following the lawful route. The black market will flourish and economy will be hardly hit. You do not need a degree in economics to foresee it. Also most certainly, the call of abolishing section 21 will accelerate the creation of that market which is not acceptable.

Northernpleb

11:44 AM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Not Sure about other Areas but Manchester is processing claims where arrears of over twelve months rent is outstanding very efficiently but it is probably all for nothing if Bailiffs are not going to enforce possession orders.
Covid is not going away anytime soon and Lockdowns are are likely well into the next year and very likely longer.
It is not fair that Landlords should be forced to house tenants indefinitely for free

Chris @ Possession Friend

13:10 PM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

I was on a webinar with 1 Chancery lane Chamber yesterday where their Barristers commented it was unbelieveable there had not been a legal challenge to this !

Our article a week ago achieved a few responses that were not entered on posts on the the original article but still virtually no landlords coming forward who have had their Possession orders not executed by bailiff's.

With the No-win, No-fee offer of J.R - a rare opportunity for landlords to 'fight back' in a cost effective way, I really can't explain why more Landlords aren't coming forward, - can anyone suggest why ?

Monty Bodkin

14:15 PM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 30/10/2020 - 13:10
Because there are so few possession orders being awarded at the moment?

Luke P

14:48 PM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 30/10/2020 - 14:15
And perhaps a lot of LLs have simply given up on the hope of any justice (from a JR)...?

Chris @ Possession Friend

15:11 PM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Monty Bodkin at 30/10/2020 - 14:15
No Monty, we're talking about Possession claims started in the summer of 2019, that ended up in court around Xmas time and bailiff warrants applied for that were not executed, - waiting for execution - when Lockdown kicked in.
Albeit Possession suspension was lifted in September 20,

Most of these warrants have been with the bailiffs BEFORE lockdown in March.

Northernpleb

16:01 PM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 30/10/2020 - 15:11
Hi Chris , Thanks for pointing that out. It must be pressure from the Government for both the Bailiffs, and Sheriffs. To down tools. In reality some landlords have probably been housing tenants for free having not received any rent for two years.
After talking to my tenants I don`t think there is any support from members of the Public who are paying rent, Mortgages etc. For rent Dodgers to get away with it.

zhorik

8:33 AM, 31st October 2020
About a month ago

what aboutCourts delaying orders. My tenant should have moved out back in March after a long protracted effort we finally got an eviction order. They stayed put, and thus in March we applied for a bailiff order before the lockdown. Then that came . Now although the order has been put in since before the lockdown we are still awaiting a date for the court , let alone a bailiff order . Net will be the Christmas hiatus. meanwhile i am homeless.

WP

8:39 AM, 31st October 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 30/10/2020 - 13:10
If I happen to get a possession order on a case I have outstanding since last Sept then I'll be looking for further advice and may well take up this offer!

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Latest tier restrictions are a pretty blatant attack on less wealthy areas of the country

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