In March, at the request of the Housing Minister Robert Jenrick MP, the Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor signed a new practice direction which stayed all possession proceedings for 90 days from 27 March.
This stay was due to end on 25 June – unless extended further.
After numerous calls by both landlords and tenants anxious to know where they stand, the Minister has decided in favour of extending the stay. Meaning that no possession claims can be processed through the courts until after 23 August.
Unless the stay is extended again.
This will be a big disappointment to many landlords stuck with non-paying or anti-social tenants.
It also means that there will be a humungous logjam of cases when the courts finally allow possession claims to be processed.
The Government announcement
You can read this here. It confirms as follows:
- Suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation extended by 2 months
- New court rules will ensure vulnerable renters will be protected when the suspension of evictions ends
- Government committed to ensuring that no one is evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.
The press release goes on to say that ministers are
working with the Judiciary and others on arrangements, including new rules, which will mean that courts are better able to address the need for appropriate protection of all parties, including those shielding from coronavirus.
This is presumably a reference to the proposed new ‘pre-action protocol’ which is expected to include a requirement that landlords try to mediate with tenants before bringing eviction claims.
However, we will have to wait and see. But unfortunately in the meantime landlords – if you want your tenants to vacate and they are refusing to do so, there is nothing you can do unless you are able to persuade them otherwise.