Update to repossession laws
Landlords seeking possession
The government have recently extended the moratorium on evictions to a total of 5 months until the 23 August 2020. This is an extension to the provisions relating to the service of notices seeking possession as amended by the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Further changes mean that until 30th September 2020, all notices requiring possession including section 21 and section 8 notices will have to be served by providing the tenant no less than 3 months’ notice. Prior to this only two-months’ notice needed to be served.
Proceeding with court action on possession cases during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
All housing possession claims in the court system have been postponed, meaning that landlords will not be able to progress any claims where they have already issued a notice seeking possession.
If you have already issued a notice before 27th March 2020 to your tenants with your intention to seek possession of the property, you will not be able to take action through the courts for possession until the 23rd August 2020 at the earliest (subject to review).
The implication is that landlords should not expect to rely on these notices to enforce possession from tenants for the next three months.
The normal process following the correct service and expiry of possession notices would be to apply to the courts for a possession hearing. This process ordinarily takes on average 6-8 weeks, however it is likely to take much longer under the current circumstances especially when the expected court backlogs are considered.
If you are concerned about regaining possession of your property a tailored approach is likely to be the most effective and your local office teams are on hand to assist should you have any concerns.
If you have any questions about this, please speak to your Property Manager, but do be patient as we are particularly stretched at the moment.