Eviction proceedings in the UK will resume again from 24 August after they were temporarily suspended to support tenants affected by the Coronavirus crisis.
The Government introduced an initial three-month ban on repossession orders starting in March, which was extended to the end of August to support struggling tenants.
In July the Government outlined new court procedures to help with the backlog of cases that is expected to arise from the suspension of evictions and court cases.
The new rules, contained within the Civil Procedure (Amendment No.4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020, provide details of how the Ministry of Justice intends to restart and conduct proceedings. These will come into force from 23 August 2020.
Central to the new rules is a requirement for the court and tenant to be notified if prior applications for possession, made before 3 August 2020, are to be listed, relisted, heard or referred to a judge. If a landlord or their agent does not submit a ‘reactivation notice’ in relation to a stayed claim by 29 January 2021, that claim will be automatically stayed.
A reactivation notice must, except in proceedings relating to an appeal, set out what knowledge a landlord “has as to the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the defendant and their dependants.”
Where a reactivation notice is filed and served by the claimant based on rent arrears, the claimant must also provide an updated rent account for the previous two years with the notice.
These temporary arrangements will remain in place until 28 March 2021. Full details of the proposed rules can be found by clicking here.
With the courts looking to reopen and launch new possession orders from the 24 August onwards, it is important that landlords are prepared.