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Courts WILL hear possession cases from 24th August

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Landlords have welcomed confirmation from a Government Minister that the courts will begin to hear possession cases from 24th August – providing greater certainty for the rental market.

Responding to a series of parliamentary questions, Lord Greenhalgh, a Minister at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has said that from the 24th August, “the courts will begin to process possession cases again”.

After what would be a five-month suspension, the Minister argued that this would be “an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.” 

He reiterated however that work is ongoing to ensure “the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”

The Minister confirmed that under plans to end Section 21 repossessions in England as part of the Renters’ Reform Bill, Ministers want to ensure that “landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property through the courts where they have a legitimate reason to do so.”

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, said: “The Minister’s comments provide greater certainty for the rental market.

“We continue to work hard with landlords and tenants to sustain tenancies wherever possible. In the vast majority of cases this is happening. 

“It is vital however that swift action can be taken against those tenants committing anti-social behaviour or domestic violence.  We are calling also for priority to be given to cases where possession orders were granted prior to lockdown or where rent arrears have nothing to do with the COVID pandemic.”

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

6 Comments

  • Absolutely agree with tenant protection for where they’ve done no wrong and or are vulnerable. This move is welcome and should really have come much earlier.
    Why should the system protect someone who’s either abusing the system or commits criminal and or offensive behaviour.

    • I let to a couple in December 2019. Within a month the guy had been drunk and troublesome and then started to harass the next door neighbour and his frail 90 year old father which included homophobic abuse (actually he isn’t gay). I immediately served a S8 so he stopped paying the rent . In April he was heard shouting racist abuse. The neighbour is moving out to his touring caravan tomorrow for 3 months as he can’t stand it and his father is so upset. The police and CPS are so slow. The coronavirus rules are so unfair in a situation like this. It seems form my solicitor that they aren’t even looking at the court applications until 23rd August so we expect a hearing in September some time.

  • I have just joined RLA after thinking about it for years! And the first thing that I read about is my current problem. If you’ve time to read it then I will tell you! I made a bad choice of tenants – a couple aged 34ish – in December 2019. Within one month the man had woken neighbours up with his drunken behaviour and then after I had said something to his wife about someone seeing him drinking through the day the guy mistakenly thought it was the man next door who had “spied ” on him . The neighbour is 50 and lives with his frail 90 year old father. Result was a drunken banging on his door at midnight and shouting homophobic abuse (the neighbour is not gay as it happens). I served a s8 on 20th January . In April he was heard shouting racial abuse in earshot of 2 black guys. Guess what , they are still there , have stopped paying rent (owes £2400 now) and God knows what has happened to the hate crimes. Its in my solicitors hands and police hands but the tenant is laughing as he grows some veg in the garden and has acquired a kitten . I found out that he stopped paying rent at his last place and was evicted and also was obnoxious to the landlords as he is to me (and to the police aswell apparently).

  • Section 21 was good because tenants that continued to pay in arrears could be threatened with eviction. Now they have to be in arrears by 8 weeks before action to evict can even be begin. Realistically this means 5 months free rent until eviction!!

  • Absolutely agree, my tenant lied to me and I took sympathy on him and reduced his rent at the beginning of lock down, only to find out he’d been sacked in his chef job in a local pub because he was caught repeatedly smoking cannabis whilst working.
    He then set his girlfriend up to trade selling coffee, drinks and snacks from a converted horse box, running an electric cable from the house, past all the neighbours houses, to power it.
    This all happened at the beginning of lock down, whilst telling me he had been ‘let go’ from his chef job and they had no money to love on so could not pay any rent.
    We were only alerted to all this by the neighbours who had grave concerns that he was trading outside their homes and had called the police, environmental health, anything to stop the cues of people outside their home in a little village with mostly elderly people.
    I believe that protecting the tenant at all costs has gone way too far. Something needs to be done.

  • I let to a couple in December 2019. Within a month the guy had been drunk and troublesome and then started to harass the next door neighbour and his frail 90 year old father which included homophobic abuse (actually he isn’t gay). I immediately served a S8 so he stopped paying the rent . In April he was heard shouting racist abuse. The neighbour is moving out to his touring caravan tomorrow for 3 months as he can’t stand it and his father is so upset. The police and CPS are so slow. The coronavirus rules are so unfair in a situation like this. It seems form my solicitor that they aren’t even looking at the court applications until 23rd August so we expect a hearing in September some time.

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