COVID 19 – Possession Proceedings – we have lift off!


21 September 2020

By Justin Emerson

September 21st is the first day that Landlords can start to take action following the lifting of the 6 month stay on possession proceedings imposed by the Government at the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is expected that the number re-possessions following the recommencement of possession proceedings will be high, with particular regard to Tenants who have been unable to pay rent during the pandemic due to loss of employment or long term furlough.

Many Tenants are likely to have already been served the appropriate notices, and it is probable that a significant proportion of these are also subject to stayed proceedings currently awaiting re-activation.

To re-activate a stayed claim for possession made before August 3rd 2020, it is necessary for the Landlord to serve a re-activation notice.  In respect of all Covid related claims, Landlords must also disclose to the court how the pandemic has affected the Tenant, further to which the claim will be “Covid marked” accordingly.

It is widely accepted that while Landlords can start to take steps to regaining possession of their property, it is going to be a potentially long road due to the enormous backlog of claims and the notable lack of court resources. Realistically, Landlords and Tenants are likely to have to wait several months for a hearing, and even longer for an eviction.

If you are a Landlord or Tenant and would like further advice regarding possession proceedings, please contact the Dispute Resolution team on 01245 493939.

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.