Eviction stay prolonged

21.08.2020

The Government has extended the stay on possession claims and evictions, which was due to expire this Sunday 23 August, for four weeks, until 20 September 2020.

A photo of money and an alarm clock

The Civil Procedure Rules are shortly to be amended to reflect this last minute u-turn. Presumably, Practice Direction 51Z will be amended.

It will interesting to see what action the Government takes after Parliament returns in September.

On one view there's little point in prolonging the stay, if that's all the Government intends to do. You're just increasing the backlog of claims and evictions.

The obvious question now is whether the Government will revisit the issue of whether courts should be given more discretion when dealing with possession claims.

Also, is more financial support to be made available for tenants whose finances have been adversely affected by the pandemic? And what about local housing authorities who must help the thousands of people becoming homeless?

A simple stay was always a very blunt tool for dealing with possession claims that inevitably involve a wide range of different circumstances. But will the Government finally grasp the nettle?

I guess we'll have to wait and see. Ministers have only had six months to consider the issues. Watch this space...

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