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Government Announces New Rule on Evictions During Lockdown 2

In this two-minute read, we look at the new rules on
eviction enforcement during the latest lockdown.

Housing
Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced a ban on bailiffs carrying out eviction
enforcement during the lockdown in all but the most serious of cases.

While
the courts are continuing to hear eviction cases, under the new rules announced
last week as England returned to lockdown, bailiff enforcement action cannot be
implemented until January 11, 2021, “at the earliest”.

Mr
Jenrick says the move protects those who have found themselves in financial
difficulty through no fault of their own “while ensuring landlords have access
to justice in the most serious cases”.

He
adds: “We are now going further by protecting renters from eviction during the
new national restrictions and throughout the Christmas period – with a pause on
bailiff activity other than in the most serious circumstances, such as
anti-social behaviour or fraud.”

There
are a few exceptions to the enforcement ban. The bailiffs can act on cases of
illegal occupation, fraud, anti-social behaviour, eviction of domestic abuse
perpetrators in social housing and where a property is unoccupied following the
death of a tenant.

The
government says it also intends to introduce an exemption for extreme pre-Covid
rent arrears.

Uncertainty and case backlog

The
latest announcement from the government adds another layer of complexity to the
legal landscape when it comes to evictions.

This
year landlords have had to contend with an eviction ban and an extension to the
eviction notice period.

To
further complicate matters, courts in England are currently working through an
unprecedented backlog of cases caused by the first lockdown and eviction ban.

As
a result, any landlord considering eviction proceedings should prepare for
nightmarish delays (and bear in mind that even in the pre-COVID-19 era, the
process took months).

That’s
why here at Holland Properties, we advise London landlords
to view eviction as the absolute last resort.

There
are several ways to avoid the tenant-landlord relationship breaking down to the
extent that eviction is the only answer.

By
investing time and effort into managing your tenant relationship, and by being
thorough with reference checks, record-keeping and inspections, many issues can
be resolved without legal action.

And
if a dispute does occur, expert negotiation and communication can mean a
finding a solution without the lawyers getting involved.

Investing
in a professional letting agent can save you as a landlord time, money, and
stress. As the nation continues to navigate its way through the uncertainties
of the pandemic, having an expert on your side who can look out for your best
interests will help you sleep well at night.

If you’d like to know more about how to avoid getting
tangled up in the messy eviction process, then get in touch with us here at Holland Properties.
We’re happy to provide expert advice on how to manage property investments
while staying on the right side of the law.

Copyright 2020 Holland Properties

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