The changes which have been put in place are designed to protect all parties involved in court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic and to relieve a substantial backlog in postponed cases.
When recommencing a current claim Landlords must:
- notify both the court and the tenant of the landlord's continued desire to seek possession by providing a reactivation notice. This is to ensure that cases which have been resolved during the pandemic are not wasting court time and that focus can be made on priority cases. Priority cases include those involving anti-social behaviour, extreme rent arrears and domestic abuse.
- Any relevant information about the tenant’s current circumstances, specifically those which may have affected them during the pandemic and could make them vulnerable.
- Full details of rent arrears in advance rather than at a court hearing
Currently, the usual length of time between a claim being issued and a court hearing is no more than eight weeks. Unfortunately, due to the current backlog of cases and the likelihood of an influx of new cases this period is likely to increase substantially.
The government are attempting to ensure that all possession claims are dealt with sensitively, especially with the threat of homelessness, although landlords are being told this does not stop the right for them to reclaim their property in the correct circumstances.
It is likely that there will be severe delays in the coming months and mediation is being encouraged by all parties to resolve matters without the need for court proceedings.
If you require assistance in relation to possession proceedings please contact Martin Salt on 01773 540480 or at email@example.com.