Possession Proceedings: the end of year roundup

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After numerous updates throughout the year on how rules under the Coronavirus Act 2020 have affected possession proceedings, this latest roundup will take us through to the end of the year but there will inevitably be some further changes in early part of 2021.

There are two basic points to take away:

Residential property

The first is that new regulations ban any person from attending residential premises to execute a writ or warrant of possession until 11 January 2021. There are however some limited exceptions such as in the case of trespassers or significant rent arrears which arose before 23 March 2020.

This moratorium on evictions means that for those few who have managed to obtain a possession order since claims began to progress through the courts again in the autumn, the bailiffs are prevented from actually removing the occupiers of the property until the New Year.

Commercial property

The second is that the existing ban on forfeiting business tenancies on the grounds of rent arrears has been extended to 31 March 2021. Those landlords who had hoped to be able to recover their premises in the face of unpaid rent will therefore have to wait a while longer yet. That will obviously be a welcome reprieve from tenants struggling to trade through the lockdown and tier restrictions. It does however just push the problem back to another day. The rent will still be due come next March.

Here to Help

If you need advice on possession proceedings, or any other property dispute matter, please get in touch with John Wagstaffe, Partner and Head of Property Disputes.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.