Coronavirus - Reactivating Possession Proceedings

Introduction

As part of the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, possession proceedings were suspended from 27 March 2020. All ongoing cases were stayed and new applications to court could not progress beyond the application stage. In many areas of the country new applications would also be returned without being processed at all.

This suspension lasts until 20 September 2020 and effectively prevents landlords from applying for a possession order, or a warrant so an existing order can be enforced.

Re-opening of the courts

While landlords have been able to apply to court during the suspension on possession hearings, no cases have progressed since 27 March 2020. From 24 August 2020, possession cases were supposed to progress again, allowing landlords to regain possession of their property. 

On 21 August 2020 the Government announced a further extension until 20 September 2020. The practice direction that introduced reactivation notices will now come into force on 20 September 2020 as well.

Changes to the notice period

In addition to the suspension on possession proceedings the notice periods required for Section 21 and 8 notices were also changed.

In England, up to 28 August 2020 notice periods were all three months. As of 29 August 2020 this has changed. Most possession notices now require a minimum of six months notice, however the notice period can be shorter than this is using a Section 8 notice.

In Wales the minimum notice period for both notices was three months initially. However, from 24 July 2020 new Section 21 notices have to give at least six months’ notice; as do Section 8 notices unless anti-social behaviour is being relied upon as one of the possession grounds.

Members and guests only!

the remainder of this page explains how cases will be prioritised, what information needs to be included in a reactivation notice and gives some guidance on how to comply with the requirements if you do wish to seek possession

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