On the 11th January 2021 the Government introduced new regulations which have amended the current restrictions surrounding tenant evictions from residential premises.
Until the 21st February 2021, the new regulations will prevent an attendance at a dwelling house in England for the purpose of a bailiff executing a writ or warrant of possession except in certain specified circumstances. These circumstances include:-
- Against trespassers to which the Civil Procedure Rules apply (persons unknown)
- wholly or partly on the grounds of:-
- Antisocial behaviour (Ground 7A)
- Nuisance (Ground 14)
- Domestic abuse (Ground 14A)
- False statement (Ground 17)
Additionally, the Government has recognised that under the previous regulations landlords could only seek to enforce evictions in cases with rent arrears of 9 months or more at the date of the Possession Order, which had accrued before the 21st March 2020.
The new regulations have reduced the minimum amount of rent that must be outstanding to 6 months and in addition those arrears can now have accrued at any time. The Government has stated that the reasoning behind these changes being brought in is in order to balance the impact of the extension on obtaining possession of residential properties on landlords, whilst continuing to protect tenants from eviction.
The amendment to the substantial rent arrears exception for residential evictions means that a greater number of landlords will be entitled to take enforcement action before the 21st February 2021. However, it remains to be seen whether or not eviction dates will actually be scheduled by both the County Court Bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers, and whether or not in practice further Court applications will need to be made, before the restrictions are lifted or if indeed the regulation will be extended or amended further.
For any further advice regarding the new legislations or if you are a landlord and would like to discuss a residential tenancy concerning one of your tenants, please contact Rob Winder at firstname.lastname@example.org or Laura Thompson at email@example.com.