COVID-19: ALL residential eviction proceedings now suspended!
Protection from possible eviction has been a major concern for vulnerable tenants throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government previously announced that from 26 March 2020, under the Coronavirus Act 2020, landlords would have to give tenants 3 months’ notice if they intend to bring eviction proceedings. This buffer period will apply until 30 September 2020 and the Prime Minister has made clear that the three month notice period may be extended if needed.
This proposal was met with some criticism from legal commentators and the rented sector, and it was initially unclear what would happen to existing possession proceedings that are ongoing.
In addition to the above, it has now been confirmed that from today (27 March 2020), all ongoing possession court proceedings will be suspended.
This means that any current possession proceedings, which may have even been commenced in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, will not proceed to the stage where a tenant could be evicted. The suspension will initially last for 90 days however again the Government has indicated that this may be extended.
This decision will provide protection for all private and social renters who may be financially struggling, self-isolating or otherwise remaining at home in accordance with Government advice during the pandemic.
Whilst tenants are protected from being evicted throughout this period, they are are still liable to pay rent and should continue to do so if they are able to. If tenants are experiencing financial difficulty and are unable to pay, there are various Government measures in place to provide support, and tenants are encouraged to open a dialogue with landlords to work together to agree a rent payment scheme.
Please contact Holly Baker if you have any questions.