Protect renters from eviction
Emergency legislation to handle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to the eviction process of all tenants (social and private) for at least the next three months with government leaving it open to extensions of up to six months if needed. The spirit of these changes is to ban all evictions so that nobody loses their home due to the immediate impact of the virus. In keeping with this aim, the courts will not be accepting any applications for bailiffs even where possession orders were already granted.
The revisions mean that should a landlord absolutely need to evict a tenant they must provide at least:
- Three months' notice for all ‘fault-based’ notices seeking possession (that is, section 8 Housing Act 1988 notices)
- Three months' notice for any non ‘fault-based’ notices seeking possession (that is, section 21 Housing Act 1988 notices which must be served using prescribed form 6A)
In order to serve notice a landlord must still satisfy the courts that they have done everything correctly as you would have been required to do prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
There are likely to be delays in cases being heard by courts when they do start to hear them again. It is possible that cases already commenced prior to the outbreak will also be prioritised over new cases being heard. Tenants may therefore be lawfully entitled to stay in their current accommodation for a long period of time. Landlords and letting agents are reminded that:
- Only a court appointed bailiff can physically evict anyone from their home
- Possession must be sought in a lawful way, ensuring that at all times tenants are not harassed to end their tenancy or be illegally evicted
- Tenants must be allowed quiet and peaceful enjoyment of their homes
Where these are flouted the council shall thoroughly investigate these matters and bring all such criminal actions before the courts.
Further information for tenants:
If your landlord tries to evict you during this time please telephone us on 01455 238141 and ask to speak to our private sector housing team or our duty housing options officer.
Further information for landlords:
- Regaining possession of your property (GOV.UK)
- Latest news and updates: Residential Landlords Association (news.rla.org.uk)
- What landlords need to know about coronavirus (news.rla.org.uk)
Last updated: 19/05/2020 11:17