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Greater certainty for landlords as the ban on tenant evictions is lifted

2-minute read

Mollie Millman

14 August 2020

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The five-month ban on tenant evictions is due to come to an end on 23 August.

The lifting of the ban means landlords will be able to start court proceedings after this date.

The government initially introduced the emergency legislation banning tenant evictions at the beginning of the lockdown. Its aim was to ensure no tenant was forcibly evicted during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ban had originally been set up for three months, before then being extended in June for a further two months. Its aim was to ensure no tenant was forcibly evicted during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Section 21 and Section 8 notices

While landlords have been unable to begin court proceedings during this period, both Section 21 and Section 8 notices have been permitted during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Section 21 notice allows a landlord to evict tenants from their homes for whatever reason they like. However, a Section 21 notice can't be used during the first six months of a tenancy.

A Section 8 notice allows landlords to evict their tenant inside the fixed term of their tenancy, but can only be used if the tenant has breached their tenancy agreement and where certain conditions are met.

New restrictions on repossessions

Court proceedings will not be the same as they were prior to the pandemic however, due to a new repossession policy that was announced by the government.

Once the evictions ban is lifted, landlords will have to carry out additional processes to evict a tenant.

These include having to submit in their claim any information about how their tenant’s circumstances have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and judges will be able to suspend the proceedings if the information is not provided.

Protecting landlords

Lord Greenhalgh, of the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government said that from 24 August, ‘courts will begin to process possession cases again’.

After what will be a five month suspension, he said that it would be ‘an important step towards ending the lockdown’ and would ‘protect landlords’ important right to regain their property’.

Ben Beadle, of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “The minister’s comments provide greater certainty for the rental market.

“We continue to work hard with landlords and tenants wherever possible. In the vast majority of cases this is happening.”

The association said that once the ban on evictions is lifted, priority needs to be given to cases involving debt prior to the lockdown.

Reopening of the housing market

The lifting of the tenant evictions ban is the latest step towards the property market returning to some sort of ‘normal’.

It follows the reopening of the housing market on 13 May after it was locked down during the pandemic.

Phil Keddie, of Arla Propertymark, the trade body representing estate agents said: “The rental market is continuing to pick up following the Covid-19 lockdown.

“As the market continues to recover from the pandemic, it’s essential that everyone continues to keep up with their rent in order to sustain the market and help boost the economy during these uncertain times.”

Are you relieved to hear that the eviction ban is ending? Let us know in the comments below.

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