The Government has confirmed that evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs until at least 21st February 2021 with measures kept under review. Egregious cases can be enforced. It is unclear as to whether the ban on evictions will be extended beyond 21st February.
The courts will remain open and continue to prioritise such cases as those involving anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation and perpetrators of domestic abuse.
Landlords will continue to have to provide 6 months notice period to tenants until the 31st March and probably beyond that date.
A new mediation process will be introduced from February 2021 offering mediation as part of the possession process. It is unclear if this will cause yet more delays to the eviction process.
The Government Press Release confirmed the following:
“The package of support is reducing the number of evictions as applications to the courts for possession by private and social landlords were down 86% between July and September 2020, compared to the same quarter in 2019. No repossessions were recorded between April and end September 2020 compared to 14,847 in the same period last year.
The government has changed the law in England to ensure bailiffs do not enforce evictions for 6 weeks until 22 February, with no evictions expected to 8 March at the earliest. This will be kept under review.
The only exceptions to this are for the most egregious cases – anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation, death of a tenant where the property is unoccupied, fraud, perpetrators of domestic abuse in social housing and extreme rent arrears equivalent to 6 months’ rent.”
A full copy of the Press Release can be found here…