Interruption to Residential Possession Claims – Covid 19 Update
In an important announcement concerning residential landlord and Tenant matters, the courts have confirmed that all possession claims have been suspended for 90 days so will likely recommence no earlier than July. There will likely be a large backlog of claims to list for hearings so it may be that a number of existing possession claims are put back many months. As stressed in the HMCTS update, a tenant still has a liability to pay its rent. It may be however that tenants fall into arrears during this period.
The government has also confirmed that the time period for serving a notice to obtain possession of a property must now be a minimum of 3 months. This applies whether it is a section 21 notice (which requires a minimum of 2 months notice) or a section 8 notice (which when based upon mandatory rent grounds is a two weeks notice). Therefore, it is still possible to serve notice but extended periods will need to be prescribed in the notice itself to comply with this change.
It is necessary to serve a notice upon a tenant which may prove more problematic with the Country currently on lockdown and guidance on social distancing.
if you require assistance in obtaining possession of a residential property please do not hesitate to contact us.
You can view the HMCTS update here. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-support-available-for-landlords-and-renters-reflecting-the-current-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak