Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 - Motion for an humble Address

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:18 pm on 23rd September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Eaton Baroness Eaton Conservative 2:18 pm, 23rd September 2020

I declare my interests as recorded in the register. I wish to oppose the two Motions —in the names of the noble Baroness, Lady Grender, and the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby—before us today. From 21 September, courts can start to hear possession proceedings again. Since March, no landlord has had access to the courts to regain possession, even in cases where tenants have broken the law.

The effect of the Motion of the noble Baroness, Lady Grender, will be to reverse the ability of the courts to start hearing these cases. Surely, it is right that landlords can take action against tenants whose anti-social behaviour is causing misery to them and others, as well as those carrying out acts of domestic violence. Surely, it is also right that they are able to address situations where tenants have large arrears incurred before lockdown and in no way connected with the Covid-19 pandemic.

I know that all landlords have concern—rightly—for tenants badly affected by Covid-19. The Government’s rules provide a good balance between the rights and needs of the landlord and the needs of the tenants.