Eviction Ban Extended in England until 21 February 2021. On 8 January 2021 the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, announced a further extension to the restrictions on evictions for private renters in England which comes into force on 11 January 2021.
The current restrictions were due to end on 11 January 2021, however, the new extension will be until 21 February 2021 and reviewed regularly.
The UK Government has now approved The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) Regulations 2021and has released updated guidance to reflect a return to a national lockdown and the extension of the ban on bailiff enforcement.
The extension does not extend the restrictions on taking control of goods which are set to end on 11 January 2021. The previous regulations also introduced a temporary ban on bailiffs attending residential properties to execute a warrant of control (in order to seize the tenant’s goods in order to be sold to recover arrears), however, this has not been extended and is set to end on 11 January 2021 meaning that bailiffs will be able to enforce judgements for outstanding debt.
Possession orders cannot be executed from 11 January 2021 to 21 February 2021 unless an exemption applies. A non-exhaustive list of the exemptions are:
- Where ‘substantial’ rent arrears have accrued. The arrears must equate to 6 months’ rent arrears, including any rent arrears that arose before the coronavirus pandemic.
- To evict trespassers.
- Anti-social behaviour.
- Where the tenant has been convicted of a serious offence.
- Where the tenant gave a false statement which induced the landlord to grant the tenancy.
Court proceedings to obtain a possession order are still ongoing but unless an exemption applies, no evictions are expected to be enforced until after 11 January 2021 at the earliest.
This does not affect any eviction notices served or possession claims issued prior to this ban, but it does mean that any possession orders made cannot be enforced by a bailiff until after 11 January 2021 unless any of the above exemptions apply.
Taking Control of Goods
The new regulations do not only extend the restrictions on evictions, but include changes to the exemptions which allow landlords to proceed with an eviction. The regulations restrict evictions by prohibiting a bailiff serving a notice of eviction on a tenant and enforcing a possession order unless an exemption applies, landlords can still serve eviction notices and issue possession proceedings however.
Enforcement visits are permitted during the national lockdown, provided that enforcement agents adhere to the Covid-secure guidance.
If you need any further information or would like to discuss a case, please contact our team.