The last stay on evictions came to an end on 27 September 2020. The Tier system was shortly thereafter established in England and Wales. The Lord Chancellor thereafter wrote to the High Court Sheriffs and the County Court Bailiffs requesting that they do not carry out evictions in areas which were designated as Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas. There is little doubt that this was an unlawful order even though the Bailiffs and Sheriffs in their wisdom, chose to rely upon this letter and refused to carry out any evictions. Their actions were clearly unlawful as there was no statutory basis for any further stay.
A few days ago, my understanding was that the Lord Chancellor’s Department was served with a Letter of Claim threatening to Judicially Review the fact that the Bailiffs and Sheriffs were refusing to execute possession orders. Indeed, we were about to serve our own Letter of Claim. As a result of this, the Government rushed through further Regulations a couple of days ago which took effect yesterday (17 November 2020). These regulations are known as The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020. With regards to evictions, there is now a stay until 11 January 2021. The Regulations prohibit any attendance at a dwelling house for the purpose of executing a writ or warrant of possession, executing a writ or warrant or restitution or delivering a notice of eviction.
There are exceptions to the Regulations. They do not apply to the following categories of occupiers:-
2. Tenants who have an absolute ground of possession against them in respect of anti-social behaviour;
3. Cases of substantial rent arrears which means at least nine months’ rent is due;
Apart from the above, there are some further exceptions although not many! It seems that there is no reason why dates cannot be set for evictions post-11 January 2021 but it is clear that there will be very few evictions carried out in the interim.
Should you have any queries with regards to the Regulations or evictions during these challenging times, then please do not hesitate to contact us using the following details
Simon Braun on 01582 466163 or by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathryn Dale on 01582 466152 or by email – email@example.com