The New Coronavirus Rules for Eviction Claims

July 27, 2020

Eviction orderCourt Eviction proceedings were ‘stayed’ in March to protect tenants during the coronavirus pandemic but this stay is due to end on 24 August 2020.

We were initially told that there would be a new ‘pre-action protocol’ to be followed (similar to that required for social housing evictions), possibly requiring mediation as a pre-requisite, but this is not what was eventually decided.

Instead, we have a new ‘practice direction’ setting out what needs to be done.

The rules cover two situations:

  • Claims started before 3 August 2020, and
  • Claims started on or after 3 August 2020

For claims which have already been started

Nothing will happen unless you serve a ‘reactivation notice’ – this must be served on your opponent and filed (ie sent to) the Court.

The reactivation notice requires you to

  • Confirm that you want the case to proceed, and
  • Set out the knowledge you have as to the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the defendant and their dependents (if any)

You should serve your notice after 23 August as that is when the new practice direction comes into force.

For claims which start after 3 August

You need to

  • For cases where there will be a hearing, you will  need a notice setting out what knowledge you have as to the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Defendant and their dependants – two copies of this must be brought to the hearing and a copy served on the defendant/s not less than 14 days before the hearing
  • For accelerated claims (where there is normally no hearing) this notice must be included with your paperwork.

In view of this, it is probably best to wait now until 3 August before starting any new cases.

The Landlord Law Eviction Guide

I have now done a special Coronavirus Eviction Rules page which sets out the new rules in more detail – and where you will also find a draft reactivation notice.

I am also carrying out a review of the rest of the guide, which includes guidance on the new court forms for accelerated proceedings which were introduced in April.

This exercise will be completed by 3 August.

Note that the eviction guide is only available to Landlord Law Business Level Members – but at the moment we have a special offer where Business Level membership is available at the same price as Basic Level membership (including renewal payments).

Existing Basic Level members can switch their membership to take advantage of this.    See our guide here.

Watch out for future posts and announcements on possession proceedings

Learn about the new eviction rules from #landlordlaw

Not a Landlord Law member?  Find out more here.
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