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Evictions could take six months longer than usual post-ban - warning

An eviction specialist says the average time to evict a tenant could soar by six months once the current ban comes to an end.

In 2019 the time for an eviction - from getting an order issued at court to gaining possession - would take on average 44.5 weeks to complete via county courts.  

Now Daren Simcox, chairman of Court Enforcement Services, says that the average time to evict could take a further six months on top of the existing time. 

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He believes landlords should be given the option to pay for a High Court Enforcement Officer to carry out their eviction, rather than having to wait for the county court to transfer cases up to the High Court, as is currently the process. 

“County courts are starting to grant leave to enforce Orders for Possession under the exemptions from the [current ban], specifically the exemption citing ‘substantial rent arrears’ [qualified as six months or greater in arrears value)” says Simcox.

But he says the situation in country courts is alarming because of what he calls “a chronic shortage” of bailiffs and the backlog of cases caused by the pandemic. 

Simcox continues: “A backlog of this size is going to take months. This means that landlords could find they are granted a Warrant of Possession but then have to wait weeks and weeks to enforce the eviction. 

 

 

“If courts are satisfied that cases have met the exemptions, landlords should be given the option to wait for a county court bailiff or pay to use High Court Enforcement Officer which would speed the process up for them and help to alleviate the backlog.”

He adds that there has been some hope for landlords in the last month or so, as exemptions for evictions have been granted by judges at hearings because every rent arrears case is more than six months. 

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    The courts will have no interest in speeding up the process, why would they? they have nothing to gain here , infact they are likely under instructions from the government to go slow, it's called '' kicking the can down the road'' , at some point, 6 months, 12 months, or 24 months the homeless figures will raise when all the non payers are thrown out and no landlords will rent to them again.

    Matthew Payne

    2 reasons for the very much intended go slow. Winter 2021 is already very much front and centre as far as covid. All the old and vulnerable are going to need a vaccine booster in the autumn and that isnt far off already, so another 30m vaccinations on top of the 30m they still need to do, on top of the 50m second doses they still need to do. The warm, light low risk covid summer will afford possession to LLs with the most extreme cases only, otherwise the can will be kicked into Spring/Summer 2022 when this vaccination program will then effectively be over. All this will buy them time to deal with the Renters Reform Bill without having 250,000 people roaming the streets with nowhere to live.

     
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    • 31 March 2021 09:58 AM

    True. But very sad.

  • Matthew Payne

    It will take a lot longer than that for many. I have seen the backlog estimate spread at anywhere between 2-3 years and Court capacity still hasnt returned yet to pre covid levels let alone the extra needed to start chipping away at the excess, so as we write it is still gettting bigger.

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    2 - 3 yrs, you could well be right there, non of us can afford to be taking any risks from now on with new tenants they need to check out 110%

     
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    True. I second Darren Simcox’s proposed solution.
    The courts should allow LL’s to find an eviction enforcement officer instead of waiting for another six months by applying to courts 6 weeks after the eviction order, and then wait further 2-3 months for an available bailiffs to evict an unscrupulous tenant.
    Pre COVID-19-it took us over 15 months to evict a tenant, purely due to statutory wait times, and court backlogs, further delays due to lack of bailiffs.
    I would have rather paid the bailiffs/enforcement officers after getting a court order to evict the tenant. It would have saved me a lot of stress, hassle, family relationship impact due to having an unscrupulous tenant who was told to lie by Shelter, C.A.B., and Hounslow council. Fortunately the judge 👨‍⚖️ saw through it and issued an eviction order immediately.
    But there was a 9 months wait for the first court hearing, then further 1 month to allow the tenant to leave, further 3 months to get the court to send bailiffs, and another month when bailiffs had an appointment slot available.
    The worst years of stress for me and my family.
    Anything to help expedite tenant evictions has to be good news based on my experience.
    Best wishes to all good LL’s, and fantastic bailiffs helping them.

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    Hope you're trashing their credit ratings at the very least?

    Inadequate legal repossession options will lead to alternative more effective methods being adopted and Shelter etc. have only themselves to blame!

     
  • George Dawes

    I've taken two of my properties off the market permanently due to this crap

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