This Government took urgent and necessary steps in the immediate face of a public health emergency to suspend housing possession action in the county courts between 27 March 2020 until 20 September 2020. This meant that neither cases in the system nor any about to go into it could progress to the stage at which someone could be legally evicted from their home. The latest government statistics for the period between April to June 2020 show that, as a result of the stay on possession proceedings, there were no bailiff repossessions recorded during this time.
The suspension of possession proceedings ended on 20 September 2020 and landlords are now able to progress their possession claims through the courts. We have published guidance on the possession action process which includes new rules to protect tenants and new processes and procedures which landlords need to follow.
To further protect renters over winter, we have legislated to increase notice periods to 6 months in all but the most serious circumstances and asked bailiffs not to carry out evictions over Christmas or in areas that are subject to a local lockdown where that includes a restriction on gatherings in homes
These measures build on the Government’s major economic package of support including assistance for businesses to pay wages; boosting the welfare safety-net by more than £9 billion; increasing Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile; and providing £180 million funding for Discretionary Housing Payments, for local authorities to distribute to support renters needing additional help.