The Government has announced that renters will be further
protected from eviction during the new national lockdown.
The key measures in this latest announcement are that:
- Evictions will not be enforced whilst national restrictions are
in place, except for the most serious cases such as anti-social
behaviour and fraud,
- Taken with the previously announced "winter pause" on
enforcement of evictions, this means that there will not be any
bailiff activity until 11 January 2021 at the earliest except in
the most serious circumstances,
- The current six-month notice periods will remain in place until
at least the end of March 2021, except for most serious cases.
Councils will still be able to action housing possession claims
through the courts, but evictions will not be enforced except in
the most serious circumstances such as cases of illegal occupation,
anti-social behaviour, fraud, eviction of a perpetrator of domestic
abuse in social housing and where a property is unoccupied
following the death of a tenant. The Government also intends to
introduce an exemption for extreme pre-COVID rent arrears and will
provide more details on this in due course.
The Government has updated their COVID renting guidance for
landlords, tenants and local authorities in the private and social
rented sectors in the context of the new national restrictions
details of which are available on the Government website.
Court user guidance to support landlords and tenants in the
social and private rented sectors understand the possession action
process and new rules within the court system in England and Wales
is also available on the Government website.