In 2020 there have been a number of changers to the rules surrounding the eviction process. So it is understandable that things may now seem a bit confusing, especially with the Government announcing a new ban on bailiff enforcement action until January 2021.
So far this year in reaction to the Coronovirus pandemic there has been a number of changes to help tenants, including a ban on evictions, an increase of notice periods from three to six months, and a suspension on possession order hearings.
While bailiffs might not be able to evict a tenant from a property during this time, the courts are open for possession hearings. If you need to evict your tenant for any valid reason, you can certainly start the process.
Also, in certain circumstances you are still able to evict at short notice for example in the case of of anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse. If a tenant is in ‘serious’ arrears, owing more than six months’ rent, they can now be evicted with a minimum of four weeks’ notice.
And if you served a section 21 with a three-month notice on or before 28th August, that three-month notice period still stands.
If you do feel that you would like to discuss any of the changes or need advice or support regarding evicting a tenant, contact our property management team where you can speak to an experienced member of our team.
Changes to date in England
19th March: New applications for a possession order could not be made for three months.
5th June: Two-month extension on the ‘eviction ban’
17th July: Landlords wishing to proceed with possession claims already in the system are required to produce a ‘reactivation notice’ to both the tenant and the court. Landlords must also provide the court with any relevant information about the tenant’s situation with regard to COVID-19, such as if they have had an illness or have been shielding, along with a full arrears history.
Friday 21st August: A further 4-week extension of the suspension of eviction hearings.
28th August: Notice period for evictions will be extended from 3 to 6 months
From 29th August, the notice period for evictions was extended from 3 to 6 months. As a result, the validity for a section 21 was extended from six to ten months
22nd September: bailiffs in England and Wales were told by the government that they should not enforce any possession orders over the Christmas period, between 11th December and 11th January