Coronavirus and evictions: the latest regulations
New regulations that came into force on November 17th 2020 prevent evictions from being enforced (including serving notices of eviction) until 11 January 2021.
There are some limited exceptions to this for the most serious circumstances.
- Claims against trespassers who are persons unknown
- Orders for possession was made wholly or partly on the grounds of anti‐social behaviour,
nuisance or false statements, domestic abuse in social tenancies, or substantial rent arrears
equivalent to nine months’ rent that predate 23 March 2020
- Orders for possession made wholly or partly on the grounds of death of the tenant, and the
person attending the property is satisfied that the property is unoccupied.
The regulations also prohibit enforcement agents from taking control of goods inside residential
properties during the period when these regulations are in force. This measure does not prevent
enforcement agents from taking other steps to enforce debts, such as making contact by telephone,
visiting but not entering properties, taking control of goods located outside the home and
enforcement of business premises.
How will this affect your business?
Whilst you cannot enforce or serve any notice of eviction proceedings until 11 January (unless one of
the above exemptions apply), you can still begin the process of forfeiture proceedings, up to the
point of serving your notice.
The most notable exemption for our clients, is the exemption that evictions are permitted to
proceed, if the possession order was granted based on ‘substantial rent arrears’, this is where at
least 9 months worth of arrears were outstanding on the date on which the possession order was
made. Those arrears must have accrued prior to 23 March 2020.
One final point to note is that where proceedings have already been issued at Court, you should be
mindful of issuing any new invoices to tenants, as in doing so you could waive your right to forfeit
and we would always encourage you to take legal advice before doing so.
If you would like to discuss this in any greater detail or are looking for advice on how to take action,
please contact us.