The Government has announced that the temporary suspension of possession proceedings due to Covid 19 is to be lifted. However, it is not business as usual, with new measures and procedures to be followed by landlords.
The key changes, which will apply from the 23rd August to the 28th March 2021 (and may be extended) are;
- Courts to re-open from the 24th August 2020
- For possession proceedings that were put on hold as a result of Covid 19, landlords will first need to notify the Court and their tenant that they still wish to seek repossession using a ‘reactivation notice’. This rule includes accelerated possession cases. However, a reactivation notice won’t be needed for any claim where a possession order has already been granted.
- Landlords seeking possession of their property will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including any relevant information about the effect of the Covid 19 pandemic on the tenant and his/her dependants, which will enable the court to have regard to vulnerability, disability, social security position and those who are shielding. This rule will apply to both new and existing proceedings and will be in place until at least the end of March 2021.
- Landlords will also need to provide a rent arrears history in advance of the hearing, rather than providing this at the hearing itself.
- The standard period of not more than 8 weeks between the issue of a claim form and the date for the hearing has been suspended, to allow the Court to spread out hearings appropriately, having regard to court capacity.
- The court will have flexibility on setting the date for the court hearing to allow it to fix a date either on or after the claim form is issued to the landlord. Currently a hearing date is set at the same time as the claim form is issued.
- Given the temporary nature of the changes, no existing possession proceedings forms are being modified, nor are any new forms being introduced.
Let The Bond Board take the strain!
We know that it is a very difficult time for many landlords and tenants. Changes in circumstances, loss of employment or business income and uncertainty about the future have hit both landlords and tenants hard.
The Bond Board offers a free, specialist support and housing advice service for both landlords and tenants in Rochdale and Bolton. We can support both parties to try to resolve issues such as rent arrears, benefit/universal credit issues or a breakdown in the landlord/tenant relationship so that the tenancy stays on track and the need for possession proceedings can be avoided. The sooner you contact us the better, so we can support you and your tenants to get back on track as quickly as possible.
Find out more about our advice and support services HERE
If you need support to solve a problem with a tenancy or need any other advice Contact us
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