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.
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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