The court service has from today suspended all ongoing housing possession action, which means that neither cases currently in the or any about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted.
This suspension of housing possessions action will initially last for 90 days, but this can be extended if needed.
This measure is designed to protect all private and social renters, as well as those with mortgages and those with licenses covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This will apply to both England and Wales.
The government guidelines clearly state that tenants are still liable for their rent and should pay this as usual. If renters face financial hardship and struggle to pay their rent, support is available.
In the first instance they should speak to their landlord if they think they will have difficulty meeting a rental payment, and in this unique context we would encourage tenants and landlords to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.”
Private landlords will currently have to give all renters three months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (i.e. serve notice that they want to end the tenancy) – this means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period.
This extended buffer period will apply in law until 30 September 2020 and both the end point, and the three month notice period can be extended if needed.
This protection covers most tenants in the private and social rented sectors in England and Wales, and all grounds of evictions. This includes possession of tenancies in the Rent Act 1977, the Housing Act 1985, the Housing Act 1996 and the Housing Act 1988.
After three months if the tenant has not moved a landlord needs to apply to court in order to proceed.