11:57 AM, 15th October 2020, About A year ago 13
The infamous words of Jenrick at the start of the pandemic: “No renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, NOR WILL ANY LANDLORD FACE UNMANAGEABLE DEBTS”
Nothing more was heard about landlords only incessant campaigns for Private landlords not to evict, but to bear the financial loss, as No assistance to this day has been provided by the Government. Quite the opposite, as landlords were considered self-employed yet outside any of the government financial assistance schemes. Apart from a slight increase in Universal credit, nothing was done for tenants other than to manipulate the Civil Justice [sic] system to prevent landlords from gaining possession to mitigate their losses.
County Court Bailiffs are refusing to execute warrants in Tier 3 areas (for example Liverpool and a lot of the North West – at present) and are quoting reasons such as a ‘circular from the Ministry of Justice’ that they refuse to disclose, and also from a part of Robert Jenrick’s statement to the House of Commons about protecting renters due to the virus.
Interestingly, the Lockdown provisions allow for house moves within the Tier 3 areas, but apparently according to Bailiff’s – not evictions. In other words, compliant tenants and house owners can move, but rent and other Possession defaulters cannot be evicted!
This is ‘déjà vu from March’ where All possession proceedings were suspended, without any cognizance of grounds such as Anti-Social Behaviour, Domestic Violence or even Non-Covid rent arrears.
The current Bailiff ‘work to rule’ is even more pernicious and arguably unlawful as it’s not even based on legislation.
The Bailiff refusal to execute court orders comes after a 6-month suspension of justice for landlords. With the added delays to ‘slow the possession process’ by extended notice periods, pre-action protocol, review hearings, mediation, winter truce and the prioritisation of cases has doubled the timescale it takes a landlord to gain legal eviction, without the ultra vires refusal of bailiffs to execute legal court enforcement orders.
Possession Friend is working with David Smith of JMW solicitors to take action against the bailiff’s refusal to execute warrants without legislation that permits this (duly deliberated in parliament, of course) The enforcement of these warrants (resulting from long-prior, Non-Covid cases) will already have been suspended since March, which were absolutely nothing to do with the current pandemic or Tier 3 restrictions.
This last-straw’ unofficial suspension by Bailiffs is merely another delaying tactic by the government – judiciary working in collusion to retain the burden of housing upon private landlords, to protect the public purse from picking up their welfare responsibilities. Especially for the smaller landlords, this financial burden is, UNMANAGEABLE! Enough is enough.
JMW solicitors are offering to bring a Judicial review against the government for the failure of the legislative process to act (Bailiffs) This will be on a No-win, no-fee agreement with costs on success being sought from the Government. Claimant landlords would still be at risk of paying the costs of the government if they lose but, JMW will seek a protective costs order trying to prevent or limit this exposure. There is also the option to set up a CrowdJustice funding page to seek funds to help defray the costs of any possible loss.
In order to bring such action, Landlords who have been refused Bailiff enforcement are asked to come forward with details of their cases.
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