The ban on bailiff evictions has been extended for a further six weeks, until 31 March 2021, and this will continue to be kept under review by the Government.
Exemptions to this ban remain, specifically for the more serious situations that would warrant an eviction, including illegal occupation, anti-social behaviour, death of a tenant where the property is unoccupied, perpetrators of domestic abuse in social housing, fraud and rent arrears equivalent to at least of six months.
From 29 August 2020, to at least 31 March 2021, landlords are also required to give their tenants at least a six-month notice period prior to the commencement of possession proceedings, except in the most serious circumstances.
The Government has also introduced a free mediation pilot to help landlords and their tenants resolve disputes before a formal court hearing is required. This is designed to help both landlords and tenants at an early stage of the possession process, enabling the tenancy to continue for both parties.
Following new rules and procedures introduced in September 2020, the courts continue to prioritise possession cases involving severe conditions such as illegal occupation. This is to ensure that, although some of the most vulnerable tenants are protected, landlords are still able to exercise their right to justice.