As we have done throughout this pandemic, #TeamCES would like to give you the latest update regarding evictions...
We know that many of our clients are waiting with baited breath to hear what will happen next, and whilst the news isn’t exactly what they will have been hoping for, we hope that there are some green shoots of optimism to take away from it.
Essentially, the evictions ban, which was due to expire on the 11th January 2021, has been extended in light of the third national lockdown and all of the implications that come with it.
A new date of the 21st February 2021 has been set for this moratorium to come to an end, although we will all have to wait and see whether or not this becomes a reality...
The green shoots we were talking about are found with the continuation of the exemptions which allow evictions to go ahead, and these include circumstances such as trespass, domestic violence and anti social behaviour. Obviously, these green shoots are two fold, in that some benefit the landlords as they are able to evict bad tenants on certain grounds, whilst they also offer protection to vulnerable groups, such as those affected by domestic violence or even the victims of people trafficking.
Solely from the point of view of landlords though, there are some further pieces of positivity to take away, as it has been confirmed that writs or warrants of possession can be executed, and that notices can be delivered in relation to orders for possession made wholly or partly on the grounds of substantial rent arrears.
In effect, for those bad tenants who have exploited the pandemic to avoid paying rent, time is running out.
Rent arrears over 6 months is what we’re talking about here, and interestingly, even if the rent arrears began to accrue within the last 9 months (since the first lockdown) this is no longer a block on processes being served.
Of course, we’re not sitting here and promising that landlords will be able to get their money back immediately, nor are we saying that all evictions should kick into gear as soon as possible.
We fully understand that many tenants have been directly affected by coronavirus, and left unable to pay their rent, but we also know that there are plenty of tenants out there who were in arrears long before coronavirus landed in the UK.
It is these people who have been exploiting the system, abusing the ‘sympathy’ and ‘understanding’ of landlords, and getting a bit of a free ride, and it is these people who will be receiving notice of eviction first, quite rightly.
In terms of the vast majority of cases though, we still support the evictions ban, as we know that protection will be afforded to those who really need it.
We just need to narrow the holes in the net.
For all other evictions, specifically those which are not granted under the current exemptions, the earliest possible date for a resumption is the 8th March 2021, given the 14 days’ notice that is required.
We wouldn’t be surprised if another extension comes to fruition, but eventually, things are going to have to get moving again.
We’ll be ready when they do, to serve our clients and to support the vulnerable.