Recovering Possession of Residential Property Post COVID-19
The already demanding landscape of recovering possession of residential premises has seen dramatic changes in light of The Coronavirus Act 2020 (“CVA 2020”).
With the aim of protecting residential tenants from eviction in the last year or so landlords have had to deal with:
- A stay on possession proceedings;
- Extended notice periods;
- Additional procedural requirements; and
- Restrictions on the execution of writs and warrants of possession concerning residential property.
The above protections were all subject to last-minute extensions and amendments and it made the minefield of residential possession proceedings more turbulent than ever.
The government recently announced that the restrictions on bailiff enforced evictions will come to an end on 31 May 2021. As a minimum of 14 days notice is required before attendance for eviction can take place, it will be mid-June before evictions can occur.
Of course, it will not simply be business as usual with regards to evictions. As the ban on evictions commenced in November 2020, it is likely that there will be a substantial backlog of requests for warrants of possession which may cause a significant delay. Furthermore, bailiffs will need to be cautious where someone in the property is self-isolating, shielding or has symptoms of COVID-19 as they should withdraw from the property immediately and the eviction will not take place.
Additionally, the government announcement indicated that from 1 June 2021, the six month notice period previously required will be reduced to four months’ notice. Subject to public health advice this could be reduced again by October 2021.
It appears that, albeit slowly, the landscape of recovering possession of residential premises is returning to that of pre-pandemic levels.
If you require assistance in relation to obtaining possession of your residential property we would be happy to guide you through the maze.