CORONAVIRUS LAW: FURTHER STATUTORY STAY ON EVICTIONS AND TAKING CONTROL OF GOODS

The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020 come into force tomorrow. They prevent residential evictions (for the most part) until the 11th January 2021.

THE REGULATIONS

Citation, Commencement and Application

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020.

(2) These Regulations come into force on the day following the day on which they are laid.

(3) These Regulations apply in relation to England only.

Residential Tenancies (Protection from Eviction)

2.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), and (5), no person may attend at a dwelling house for the purpose of—

(a)executing a writ or warrant of possession;

(b)executing a writ or warrant of restitution; or

(c)delivering a notice of eviction.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply where the court is satisfied that the notice, writ or warrant relates to an order for possession made—

(a)against trespassers pursuant to a claim to which rule 55.6 (service of claims against trespassers) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998(2) applies;

(b)wholly or partly under section 84A (absolute ground for possession for anti-social behaviour) of the Housing Act 1985(3);

(c)wholly or partly on Ground 2, Ground 2A or Ground 5 in Schedule 2 (grounds for possession of dwelling houses let under secure tenancies) to the Housing Act 1985(4);

(d)wholly or partly on Ground 7A, Ground 14, Ground 14A or Ground 17 in Schedule 2 (grounds for possession of dwelling houses let on assured tenancies) to the Housing Act 1988(5); or

(e)wholly or partly under case 2 of Schedule 15 (grounds for possession of dwelling-houses let on or subject to protected or statutory tenancies) to the Rent Act 1977(6).

(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply where the court is satisfied that—

(a)the case involves substantial rent arrears; and

(b)the notice, writ or warrant relates to an order for possession made wholly or partly—

(i)on Ground 1 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1985;

(ii)on Ground 8, Ground 10 or Ground 11 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988; or

(iii)under case 1 of Schedule 15 to the Rent Act 1977.

(4) (a) For the purposes of paragraph (3), a case involves substantial rent arrears if the amount of unpaid rent arrears outstanding at the date on which the order for possession is granted is at least an amount equivalent to 9 months’ rent; and

(b)for the purposes of sub-paragraph (a), any unpaid rent arrears accrued after 23rd March 2020 must be disregarded.

(5) Paragraph (1) does not apply where the court is satisfied that the notice, writ or warrant relates to an order for possession made wholly or partly on Ground 7 in Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1988.

(6) Where paragraph (5) applies, the person attending at the dwelling house must take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that the dwelling house is unoccupied before—

(a)delivering a notice of eviction;

(b)executing a writ or warrant of possession; or

(c)executing a writ or warrant of restitution.

Taking Control of Goods

3.  No person may use the procedure in Schedule 12 (taking control of goods) of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007(7) to take control of goods located inside a dwelling house.

Expiry

4.—(1) Regulation 2 expires on 11th January 2021.

(2) Regulation 3 expires upon expiry of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations 2020(8).

(3) This regulation does not affect the validity of anything done or not done pursuant to these Regulations before they expire