Guides & Advice

Lockdown 2.0 and enforcing warrants for possession of a property - Still possible in extreme cases

Published: 9th November 2020
Area: Real Estate & Planning

UPDATED 5 NOVEMBER 2020

With the country under a new set of national restrictions commonly being called Lockdown 2.0, there are more changes to how warrants for possession of a property are executed.  But landlords and residents can rest assured that in the worst cases of anti-social behaviour, possessions can still be progressed.

After the stay on possession proceedings and ban on evictions was lifted on 23 August 2020 which is covered in the earlier article Light at the end of the tunnel on possession claims, things slowly started moving through the court system.

The Government then announced a ‘winter truce’ on evictions which meant bailiffs were unable to carry out any evictions from 11 December 2020 to 11 January 2021.

For those landlords who had possession orders in place prior to the lockdown in March, it was key to ensure an eviction date was set before the ‘winter truce’ came into force.

We then saw the Government introduce a tiered system, which meant that any area which was in a tier 2 or 3 meant that evictions could not be carried out.

We now see a further change which again impacts on how warrants are executed. As of 5 November 2020, all evictions are put on hold until 11 January 2021, effectively bringing the ‘winter truce’ forward. However, this time around there isn’t a blanket ban on evictions and if a possession order has already been granted then the following exceptions apply;

  • Following a claim against trespassers to which rule 55.6 (services of claims against trespassers) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1988 applies;
  • Under section 84A of the Housing Act 1985;
  • On Ground 2, Ground 2A or Ground 5 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985;
  • On Ground 7A, Ground 14, Ground 14A or Ground 17 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988;
  • Under case 2 of Schedule 15 to the Rent Act 1977; or
  • On Ground 7 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988 and where the person attending is satisfied that the dwelling house is unoccupied at the time of attendance

The above criteria was set out in a letter by RT HON Robert Buckland QC MP.

The criteria this time around allow landlords to continue to apply for warrants of possession for the most extreme cases which involve severe anti-social behaviour, illegal trespassing or squatting by persons unknown in a property along with domestic abuse. This will also offer neighbouring residents who have had to face ongoing anti-social behaviour and nuisance, some welcome respite whilst the country is under further national restrictions. This will subsequently allow both private and social landlords to gain possession of their properties in order to house those on waiting lists and in need of accommodation during the pandemic.

There is also the possibility that the Government intends to introduce an exemption on cases which involve extreme pre-COVID-19 rent arrears which would be added to the list above. Further details about this will be published when they are made available.

Contact us

For further information contact Habib Khan in our housing management team, who can guide, help support and you and your teams to deal with any housing management and litigation issues you face during these evolving times.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

How can we help?

Our expert lawyers are ready to help you with a wide range of legal services, use the search below or call us on: 0330 024 0333

SHMA® ON DEMAND

Listen to our SHMA® ON DEMAND content covering a broad range of topics to help support you and your business.

Standard Method – the implications for plan-making and development opportunities across the East Midlands

4 Mar

David Pendle, Associate Director | Andrew Gore, Partner
Standard Method – the implications for plan-making and development opportunities across the East Midlands

This webinar will focus on what on the implications are for plan-making across the […]

Covid-19 vaccine – what employers need to know

10 Mar

Matt McDonald, Partner
Covid-19 vaccine – what employers need to know

In this webinar, Matt McDonald – partner in our employment team – will discuss […]

Agriculture: Agricultural Tenancies and Tenancy Reform

11 Mar

Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture | Jennie Wheildon, Legal Director
Agriculture: Agricultural Tenancies and Tenancy Reform

Peter Snodgrass and Jennie Wheildon will be in conversation discussing how to identify the […]

When does a mental health condition become a disability? Managing mental health in the workplace

17 Mar

Matt McDonald, Partner
When does a mental health condition become a disability? Managing mental health in the workplace

We will cover: Recognising mental health issues in the workplace, what employers can do, […]

Agriculture: Brexit and the impacts on farmers and land owners

25 Feb

Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture
Agriculture: Brexit and the impacts on farmers and land owners

Peter Snodgrass, Head of Agriculture at Shakespeare Martineau, will be in conversation with Jason […]

IR35 – what changes are expected in April 2021?

24 Feb

Rhys Wyborn, Partner
IR35 – what changes are expected in April 2021?

In this webinar, Rhys Wyborn – partner in our employment team reminds employers of […]

How has Covid changed the life of legal counsel? | SHMA Talks

24 Feb

Sarah Walker-Smith, Chief Executive
How has Covid changed the life of legal counsel? | SHMA Talks

For a lot of us, Covid has changed the way we work, but how […]

Ingenuity – driving sustainable economic recovery | SHMA Talks

17 Feb

Ed Wright, Partner & Head of Sport
Ingenuity – driving sustainable economic recovery | SHMA Talks

The Ingenuity Programme - a network of universities, corporate and public organisations is helping […]

Our Latest Thoughts

All the latest views and insights on current topics.

Marrons Planning shortlisted as finalists for two awards at the national RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2021

17 Feb

Marrons Planning

Marrons Planning shortlisted as finalists for two awards at the national RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence 2021

Read article Right Arrow

Shakespeare Martineau supports STOPageism campaign

27 Jan

Firm News

Shakespeare Martineau supports STOPageism campaign

Read article Right Arrow

What does 2021 hold? Our sector predictions

26 Jan

Corporate & Commercial

What does 2021 hold? Our sector predictions

Read article Right Arrow

Shakespeare Martineau advises £35 million property scheme sale

26 Jan

Real Estate & Planning

Shakespeare Martineau advises £35 million property scheme sale

Read article Right Arrow

The environmental and social benefits of village life in retirement | Later living

24 Jan

Real Estate & Planning

The environmental and social benefits of village life in retirement | Later living

Read article Right Arrow