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Update on Government ban on evictions and new possession proceedings

News | Thu 19th Mar, 2020

The government has announced a ban on new possession proceedings for the next three months together with a number of other measures which will affect the rental market.

The measures announced so far include (which will be implemented through emergency legislation this week):

  • The suspension of new evictions from social or private rented accommodation;
  • A ban on new possession proceedings being commenced for the next three months;
  • The extension of a 3-month mortgage payment holiday to Buy to Let mortgages;
  • A widening of the ‘Pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings which will aim to encourage engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes;
  • Guidance will be issued which encourages landlords to show ‘flexibility’ to tenants during the current crisis.

The announcements lack the detail many will hope for and aside from the extension of the mortgage payment holiday measures, there have not yet been any other measures announced to assist landlords.

Private sector landlords will likely need to turn to their landlord insurance policy (or look into obtaining one) and those with possession proceedings on foot or listed for a hearing will have to wait until the ban on evictions is lifted to be able to enforce any orders which are obtained.

So far, the proposals do not address what assistance will be available to local government housing departments or private providers of emergency accommodation on behalf of local authorities.

The Property, Chancery and Commercial Team at 1 Chancery Lane are available to assist those in this sector who require advice.

A link to the current guidance is here.

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