Covid-19 - evictions delayed to 31 March 2021
15 February 2021
The Housing Secretary gave occupiers a Valentine's present this weekend by extending the date from which evictions were going to resume (see here).
The current date, set under The Public Health (Coronavirus)(Protection from Eviction)(England) Regulations 2021 (which you can find here), was 22 February 2021, but this has now been pushed back by a further six weeks until 31 March 2021, just in time for Easter.
The new legislation has not yet been drafted but we fully anticipate it will reflect the wording of the regulations brought into force last month (referred to above). If so, this will mean that no warrant of possession may be executed in respect of a dwelling house except for only a handful of reasons, including claims (a) against trespassers, (b) based wholly or partly on grounds of anti-social behaviour, or (c) where there are substantial arrears of rent (at least six months' worth). It is also possible that there may be further changes to these exceptions.
This announcement is not surprising given the government's pledge to ensure that renters (and other occupiers) should not lose their homes because of the pandemic and will provide relief to those who continue to struggle as the current recession continues to take hold. Although the government's vaccination programme is well underway, we suspect these restrictions on evictions will be extended yet further into late spring and beyond; as we commented last week, the effects of the pandemic are likely to be here for some time. It will be very surprising if the Government prematurely seeks to relax measures which will adversely impact those who have suffered the most.
If you have any queries or questions regarding the above, or about possession proceedings generally, please contact Michael Ellis, Alexandra Sollohub or Emily Thorp or complete the form below and one of the team will get back to you.