The rules prevent the enforcement of evictions against tenants,(other than serious circumstances) during the second national local down period and over Christmas. This now has changed to state that no eviction notices are to be served until 11 January 2021 at the earliest (this could of course be put back again!) and, given the 14-day notice period required, no evictions are expected to be enforced until 25 January 2021.
The most serious circumstances include:
- illegal occupation
- false statement
- anti-social behaviour
- where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant
- Extreme rent arrears
Importantly, the UK Government’s announcement on 5 November 2020 where they stated they would look to introduce an exemption for extreme pre-COVID rent arrears, the Regulations now confirm that landlords will be able to seek possession of their property and see bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers enforcing warrants and completing evictions. However, this will only apply to tenants who have accrued the equivalent of nine months’ rent arrears, with arrears accrued since 23 March (the start of England’s first lockdown) discounted.