Landlords will breathe a sigh of relief this month as from 1st June 2021, the ban on bailiffs attending rental properties to evict tenants was lifted. The ban on possession proceedings was implemented in March 2020 by the Government to protect tenants who were affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Reasons behind the Ban
The ban was intended to protect tenants who lost their jobs or struggled financially due to the pandemic from being evicted by their landlords. For many tenants, this was a lifeline that protected them from eviction at their most difficult time. However for some landlords it caused more problems than it solved.
Some landlords had tenants who were already behind on rental payments prior to the pandemic. A ban on possession proceedings caused great concern for these landlords especially where they needed the rent to make mortgage payments or as one of their only sources of income.
Possession claims resumed on 20th September 2020 meaning Landlords have now been able to obtain possession orders against their tenants. Unfortunately, the ban on evictions was not lifted at the same time, so while landlords have been able to obtain possession orders from the Court, they have been unable to enforce them. This all changed on 1st June 2021.
This means landlords can now apply to have a bailiff attend the rental property to have the tenants evicted. However, it is not all good news for landlords. There is a huge backlog of possessions and reportedly there are approximately 11,000 people currently waiting for their tenant to be evicted. This is going to cause significant delays with evicting tenants.
What can I do if I’m a Landlord?
Given the backlog involved with evicting your tenant, you may feel helpless as a landlord who wants to recover possession. Below are some top tips to follow to make it easier to evict your tenant.
- Take legal advice sooner rather than later. If you do not comply with the Notice provisions when beginning possession proceedings, the Court may not grant a possession order. This could cause even further delays with the possession process. To prevent a waste of time and money, you should contact a lawyer at an early stage.
- Try to agree a compromise or rent payment plan. If you are trying to have your tenant evicted because of non-payment of rent, a dispute over a vacation date or anything else, it is always better to agree a payment plan or settlement rather than moving to Court action. If your tenant can vacate the property but needs two more weeks after the notice period has expired, consider granting an extension. Alternatively, if you are evicting your tenant for non-payment of rent consider whether a payment plan can be agreed.
- Act fast. Landlords can feel guilty about starting possession proceedings or do not want to spend money on legal advice or possession proceedings in the hope the tenant will vacate. This can cause delays. Landlords are then often surprised when they discover the timescale for obtaining possession is usually months rather than weeks. You should therefore obtain legal advice as soon as possible. Compromise can occur at any stage, so it is better to begin the process early rather than too late.
We have a team of specialists who can advise you on your case and the best procedure for regaining possession of your property. Please contact our Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team for further advice and information.
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