Guides & Advice

The Government’s u-turn on lifting the stay on possession proceedings

Published: 27th August 2020
Area: Real Estate & Planning

The Government’s u-turn on lifting the stay on possession proceedings

On Friday 21 August we saw the Government make a U-turn on its decision about the stay imposed on possession proceedings which was due to be lifted on Sunday 23 August 2020. It was an 11th hour decision to extend the stay until 20 September 2020.

Further to our previous article Light at the end of the tunnel setting out guidance on how cases will move forward following the lifting of the stay, presently there is no guidance on how PD55C will be affected and it is assumed much of it may remain the same.

No doubt this announcement would have come as a shock to both private and social landlords who were getting ready for the stay to be lifted.

There was also a further announcement by Robert Jenrick, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government that a new notice period of six months will be in place until at least 31 March 2021, save for those cases raising other serious issues such as anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse. It is not yet known the full impact of the new six months’ notice period. A further briefing will be published once we have more details.

It was further reported that when the courts do resume hearings again, the court will carefully prioritise the most “egregious” in order to allow landlords to progress more serious cases which involve anti-social behaviour or where landlords have not received rent for over a year and would otherwise face unmanageable debts.

The impact of social landlords not receiving rental income from tenants ultimately has a knock on effect on their plans to build more social housing properties to house those in need.

In light of these recent changes, it is advised that landlords continue with their tenancy management and liaise with tenants as best as they can. Landlords should also consider other options to manage anti-social behaviour by means of injunctions or working with other agencies to seek closure orders of properties.

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.

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