Eviction stay extended again for one month

News that the government has announced a stay on evictions for a further four weeks provides a brief reprieve for tenants, but more needs to be done to provide access to justice, said the Law Society England and Wales.

The government has announced that the stay on evictions has been extended until 20 September 2020.

Law Society president Simon Davis said: “Today, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) announced that it would be extending the stay on evictions for a further four weeks, until 20 September. However, tenants are still required to pay their rent and landlords are still able to serve a notice of eviction, with a six-month notice period.”*

“The government first brought in these measures on 26 March 2020, for an initial period of three months. The stay was then extended on 5 June until 24 August and has now been extended again so vulnerable tenants can get the help they need, and courts can continue to make the necessary arrangements.

“The government and the courts have passed new court rules and provided extra protections to vulnerable tenants and those who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

“However, more needs to be done, including resolving the legal aid deserts currently preventing tenants in some areas from receiving legal advice and making wider legislative changes to prevent a spike in homelessness.”

Notes to editors

*The government has announced that the stay on evictions has been extended until 20 September 2020 and there will be a six-month notice period on any eviction notices served by landlords. Read the government's announcement.

The stay means that:

  • courts are neither hearing nor progressing applications for possession orders made by landlords before 24 March 2020
  • this applies to all private or social housing tenancies as well as licenses falling under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977
  • the stay applies to England and Wales
  • there are exceptions set out in Practice Direction 51Z. These include applications for possession against trespassers and applications for case management directions which have been agreed by all parties
  • Schedule 29 Coronavirus Act 2020 also remains in force until 30 September 2020
  • under this Act, landlords must provide tenants with a notice period of three months when issuing a notice seeking possession
  • tenants are still obliged to pay rent during this period. If they are unable to do so, the government encourages open and honest conversations between the landlord and tenant about the tenant’s ability to pay rent

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