This page provides updated information on the latest changes to legislation, including statutory notices and guidance from the Lord Chancellor
The moratorium on residential evictions has been extended from 11th January to 21st February 2021 in England and 31st March in Wales.
During that period, enforcement agents may not carry out residential evictions or serve notice of eviction unless the order for possession is made:
- Against trespassers pursuant to a claim to which rule 55.6 (service of claims against trespassers) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998(2) applies
- Wholly or partly under section 84A (absolute ground for possession for anti-social behaviour) of the Housing Act 1985
- Wholly or partly on ground 2, 2A or 5 of schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988
- Wholly or partly on ground 7 of schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 – the enforcement agent must take reasonable steps to ensure the residential premises are empty before serving notice or enforcing the writ/warrant of possession
- Wholly or partly on ground 7A, 14, 14A or 17 of schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985
- Wholly or partly on case 2 of schedule 15 of the Rent Act 1977
- Where there are substantial rent arrears
“Substantial arrears” has been defined as arrears equating to six months’ rent arrears in England only. This exclusion does not apply in Wales.
In all cases the order should state that the court is satisfied that an exemption applies.
Commercial landlord remedies
On 9th December 2020, the Government announced that the moratorium on commercial landlord remedies will be extended to 31st March 2021.
- Forfeiture of lease
- Commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR)
- Winding up petitions
- Statutory demands
The Government announcement did state that this will be the final extension of the moratorium. You can read more here.
The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020.
Taking control of goods
Enforcement visits are permitted during the national lockdown, provided that enforcement agents adhere to the Covid-secure guidance.
Regulation 3 in this statutory instrument states that they may not enter residential premises to take control of goods.
Regulation 3 expires at the end of the national lockdown that started on 5th November.
Guidance on possessions over the mid-winter period
You can read the full guidance here. This clarifies how exemptions are identified.
In order for an eviction to proceed, the court must be satisfied that an exemption applies. One of the processes outlined below must be followed in all cases.
- New possession orders: from now until 11 January 2021, when making an order for possession the court will record in the order if it is satisfied that the order falls within one of the exemptions (specifying which regulation). This includes the exemption for pre-Covid rent arrears, although in this instance the claimant will need to provide a detailed calculation of rent arrears showing precisely how they meet the definition in the exemption.
- The claimant must give the HCEO a copy of a court order clearly showing that the case into an allowed exemption. If the claimant fails to produce an order, the HCEO should not proceed with the eviction.
- Where an exemption is not identified on the order (including orders made prior to 17 November: the claimant should make an application by filing an N244 application under Part 23 of the Civil Procedure Rules, requesting the Court “to declare itself satisfied of the following matter set out at [specify which paragraph of Regulation 2], namely [specify the matter]”. This should be ‘on notice’. The application should be sent to the court that made with the original possession order. No fee is payable for this application.