Housing management updates
Courts and coronavirus
During the current coronavirus pandemic over half of the courts and tribunals buildings are temporarily shut and major adjustments have had to be made to how the court service will run. In light of this the courts have issued guidance on their list of priorities during the Covid-19 pandemic which they have divided into two groups;
- Group 1 – is work that must be done; and
- Group 2 – work that could be done
The court has suspended any further action on possession proceedings being taken as a result of the pandemic which could make it very difficult for landlords to manage anti-social behaviour. However, we are pleased to see that action can still be taken during this time via the methods which have been listed within group 1.
As a result landlords, can still seek to obtain an anti-social behaviour injunction order and commence committal proceedings, should the need arise.
A full list of court priorities can be found here.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 and notices seeking possession
The Coronavirus Act 2020 became law on 26 March 2020. The Act provides the police with additional powers and it has also made a significant number of changes to possession proceedings.
Schedule 29 of the new Act outlines these changes which have an impact on landlords when they serve a Section 8 or Section 21 Notice.
Prior to the Act and depending on the grounds used for a Section 8 notice, a landlord could serve a notice and then act upon it the next day. For a Section 21 notice, the notice period would be two months. However, the Act now states that any notice served from 26 March and currently up to 30 September 2020, must provide three months’ notice.
These changes do not prevent you from serving a notice should the need arise.
Practice Direction 51Z (PD) and housing possession
Following the signing of Practice Direction 51Z, all proceedings for housing 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 27 March 2020.
Statement of Truth
Please also note the changes which took effect from 6 April 2020 regarding the wording of the Statement of Truth required by CPR Part 22. To find out the correct wording for a document you may be drafting which requires a Statement of Truth, Practice Direction 22 contains the new correct forms for the Statement of Truth and can be found here.
We are continuing to share our knowledge and expertise online. You can register for one of our learning events or contact the events team for more details or for more general business advice in relation to coronavirus visit our dedicated resource hub.
For advice or guidance on any other legal issue, a member of our team can help – please click here to discuss.