• news-banner

    Expert Insights

Further extension to ban on residential evictions

The Government has introduced a further extension to the ban on enforcement of possession orders from 21 February 2021 to 31 March 2021 in respect of residential dwellings in England. This change is made under The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 which came into force on 21 February 2021 (“the Regulations”).

The Regulations make no further changes to the limited circumstances in which enforcement of possession orders may proceed. The following is a list of the exemptions which arise most frequently:

  • Enforcement of a possession orders made against unknown trespassers (under CPR 55.6);
  • Where the premises are let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (“AST”) or assured tenancy and a possession order is made wholly or partly under one or more of the following grounds under Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988
    • Ground 7A – conviction of tenant or a visitor;
    • Ground 14 – nuisance;
    • Ground 14A – domestic violence.
  • Where the premises are let under an AST or an assured tenancy, there are substantial arrears of rent and a possession order is made wholly or partly under one or more of the following grounds of Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988:
    • Ground 1 – principal home of Landlord;
    • Grounds 8, 10 or 11 – rent arrears.
  • Substantial arrears of rent is defined in the Regulations as at least 6 months’ rent. 

It is important for Landlords to note that if they have obtained a possession order following service of a Section 21 Notice then even if there are over 6 months’ arrears, they will be unable to enforce a possession order until the eviction ban is lifted. The High Court recently confirmed in relation to the previous regulations (in force until 21 February 2021) that it was not possible to read the legislation as permitting the enforcement of a possession order in those circumstances (The Master Wardens and Assistants of the Guild Fraternity of the Brotherhood of the Most Glorious and Undivided Trinity of St Clement in the Parish of Deptford Strond and (1) Dequincy Prescott and (2) Clodagh Byrne [2021] EWHC 283). Accordingly, a possession order may be enforced if there is over 6 months’ rent outstanding and the Landlord has obtained a possession order on Grounds 1, 8, 10 or 11. This remains the position under the Regulations.

In addition, the temporary changes to the Civil Procedure Rules in the form of Practice Direction 55C have been extended until 30 July 2021. Landlords now have until 30 April 2021 to reactivate possession proceedings failing which they will remain stayed and it will be necessary for an application lifting the stay to be made.

The Coronavirus pandemic is having a profound effect on landlords and tenants in the private rented sector. The Government’s quarterly mortgage and landlord possession statistics for October to December 2020 report that claims for possession were down 67%, orders for possession were down 89% and warrants of possession were down 86% on the same quarter in 2019. This is not surprising given the stay on possession proceedings which was in place until September 2020 and the current ban on enforcement of possession orders except in limited circumstances.

In addition, changes to notice periods for certain residential tenancies including AST and Assured Tenancies remain in place until 31 March 2021, but there is power for this date to be extended.  For more information, please click here for our insight on those changes.

This is an area of fast-paced change so please visit our Essential Residential Hub and our timeline on the evolution of the private rented sector to keep up to date with developments.

Please do not hesitate to contact Lauren Fraser, Laura Bushaway or your usual Charles Russell Speechlys contact if you have any queries. This insight is not a substitute for legal advice on the specific circumstances of your case.

Our thinking

  • Mental Health Management

    Nick Hurley


  • Arbitration Act 1996: Law Commission recommends limited changes

    Richard Kiddell


  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises Nortal on its acquisition of Questers

    Hamish Perry


  • Family and Employment law assistance in legal advice deserts

    Sarah Farrelly


  • Property Patter: the latest on the Building Safety Act

    Richard Flenley


  • James Souter writes for City AM on Meta pulling out of its London office

    James Souter

    In the Press

  • Ciara Coyle writes for People Management on ways to ensure ‘invisible’ workers do not go unrecognised

    Ciara Coyle

    In the Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises Puma Private Equity on its £3.5 million investment into TravelLocal

    David Coates


  • Georgina Muskett and Karin Mouhon write for Property Week on the importance of preparation when proposing site redevelopments

    Karin Mouhon

    In the Press

  • China Daily, and other titles, quote Silvia On on trends affecting Chinese HNWIs

    Silvia On

    In the Press

  • The Evening Standard quotes Rose Carey on the increase in visa fees

    Rose Carey

    In the Press

  • Spears quotes Piers Master on the potential exodus of UHNW non-doms from the UK ahead of a potential Labour government

    Piers Master

    In the Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys advises Zenzero’s management team on its majority acquisition by Macquarie Capital

    Mark Howard


  • David Savage writes for Construction News on the upcoming building-control overhaul

    David Savage

    In the Press

  • Updates and points to note in relation to buy-to-let residential properties

    Twiggy Ho


  • Felicity Chapman writes for Insider Media on alternatives to court for divorcing business owners

    Felicity Chapman

    In the Press

  • Investment Week quotes Julia Cox on the proposed scrapping of inheritance tax

    Julia Cox

    In the Press

  • Charles Russell Speechlys expands commercial offering with the appointment of Rebecca Steer

    Rebecca Steer


  • The Times quotes Gareth Mills on the CMA’s preliminary approval of the Activision Blizzard-Microsoft deal

    Gareth Mills

    In the Press

  • Heritage property and conditional exemption

    Sarah Wray


Back to top