With news that the moratorium on eviction claims has been extended a further four weeks to the 20 September 2020, what does this mean for private landlords?

The amended Civil Procedure Rules 1998 bring about several changes to the current procedure including the extension to the moratorium. This means that tenants will remain protected from eviction until 20 September 2020.

Once the moratorium expires on 20th September 2020, landlords will only be able to continue with possession claims if they have followed the amended CPR.  

The CPR amendments to be aware of include:  

  • Landlords will now be expected to give tenants six months’ notice of eviction. The only exceptions will be limited to cases involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse are involved.
  • Landlords will now be required to give information about the tenant’s personal circumstances to the court in existing and new claims, including the impact of the pandemic on the tenant.  
  • When restarting possession claims, landlords will now need to complete and serve a reactivation notice to the tenant and the court. If a landlord fails to do this, the hearing can be adjourned.
  • Hearing dates will no longer be fixed eight weeks after the claim form had been issued. The court will now have flexibility on setting the date for the court hearing and before a ‘substantial hearing’ takes place, a Judge will consider the case on the papers known as a review hearing.

Whilst this remains a frustrating time for many landlords, the amendments listed above will remain in effect until 28 March 2021. Landlords are therefore being encouraged to focus on pursuing priority cases, such as those involving extreme rent arrears, illegal sub-letting, squatting, domestic abuse and anti-social behaviour. Clearly, the government intends to provide tenants with greater protection from eviction over the winter months and landlords should prepare for this.

If you are a private landlord or tenant and wish to understand your rights, contact our housing team on 01392 256854 who will be happy to offer an initial appointment either in person or via an online platform.