Evictions: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Mick Whitley Mick Whitley Labour, Birkenhead

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the suspension on evictions beyond 20 September 2020.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Our primary consideration remains, as it has been throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, to protect public health and ensure public services can provide support to those who need it. The stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September 2020, meaning that in total no tenant can have been legally evicted for six months at the height of the pandemic.

Legislation has been introduced that means, from 29 August 2020, landlords must give tenants six months’ notice before they can evict in most circumstances, apart from the most egregious cases such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators. This will be in force until 31 March 2021.

When courts do resume possession hearings they will carefully prioritise the most egregious cases, ensuring landlords are able to advance cases such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other?serious cases.??Case listing, including prioritisation, in court is a judicial function and we are working with the judiciary through the Master of the RollsWorking Group on possession proceedings to finalise the categories of serious cases that?will?be prioritised when hearings resume.

Our measures strike a good balance?by?easing the path to the?opening?of?the courts for the most critical cases while keeping the public safe over winter.? We will keep these measures under review?and decisions?will continue?to be guided by the latest public health advice.

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