Landlord & Tenant Law Specialist; Jonathan Lynn, Partner at Courtyard Solicitors, explains that there is new protection for tenants who fall into arrears during the Coronavirus outbreak.
"The Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chancellor have signed Practice Direction 51Z (PD) in relation to housing possession proceedings during the Coronavirus pandemic. It follows the Coronavirus Act 2020 emergency legislation and complements the provisions herein to prevent imminent evictions and delay possession proceedings.
The Practice Direction is effective from 27th March 2020
The main changes effected by this are:
That all proceedings for housing possession brought under Civil Procedure Rules Part 55 and all proceedings seeking to enforce an order for possession by a warrant or writ of possession are stayed for a period of 90 days from 27th March 2020.
Claims for injunctive relief are not subject to the stay set out in paragraph 2 of the PD.
The Practice Direction ceases to have effect on 30th October 2020.
The effect of this is that no steps can be taken in most possession cases. This includes possessions proceedings under S21 (ie no fault evictions for assured shorthold tenants).
So if proceedings are issued they will not progress. If a possession order is in force it can not be enforced."
If you are likely to be affected by this and would like legal assistance please email Jonathan Lynn for advice.
Set out below is the full text of the practice direction.
PRACTICE DIRECTION 51Z – STAY OF POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS - CORONAVIRUS
1. This practice direction is made under rule 51.2 of the Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”). It is intended to assess modifications to the rules and Practice Directions that may be necessary during the Coronavirus pandemic and the need to ensure that the administration of justice, including the enforcement of orders, is carried out so as not to endanger public health. As such it makes provision to stay proceedings for, and to enforce, possession. It ceases to have effect on 30 October 2020.
2. All proceedings for possession brought under CPR Part 55 and all proceedings seeking to enforce an order for possession by a warrant or writ of possession are stayed for a period of 90 days from the date this Direction comes into force.
3. For the avoidance of doubt, claims for injunctive relief are not subject to the stay in paragraph 2.