Landlords must disclose if tenants they are trying to evict have been affected by the coronavirus – otherwise the case could be thrown out of court
- The government is imposing new restrictions on landlords who repossess properties
- Landlords must submit additional information as part of their claims in court
- Landlords must disclose whether a tenant has been affected by the coronavirus
- Judges can suspend legal proceedings if the information is not provided
Landlords hoping to get rid of tenants who haven’t paid the rent when the current eviction ban expires on August 23, will face new restrictions if they want to evict them.
Once the eviction ban is lifted, landlords can start legal proceedings again against tenants – something that was barred during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, new measures the government quietly announced last month mean that the process of obtaining possession of their properties through court will not be the same as it was before the pandemic.
Landlords will be required to provide information on how a tenant’s circumstances have been affected by the coronavirus
The government has said landlords will have to complete additional lawsuits if they want to evict a tenant.
These include having to submit all relevant information in their claim about how a renter’s circumstances have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic – and a judge can stay the proceedings if the information is not provided.
The new procedures will come into effect after the end of the current deportation ban on August 23.
The ban was introduced at the start of the lockdown to protect tenants from forced eviction during the pandemic.
It was initially introduced for three months and then extended for a further two months.
Timothy Douglas, of ARLA Propertymark – the rental brokerage trade association – said he was concerned about how home ownership cases will be handled once the eviction ban ends.
He said: “It is vital that the government has a coordinated strategy that prioritizes the most serious cases and informs the industry of the changes and what landlords and estate agents should do.
This is important because when the courts reopen there will be a backlog of cases and it will take longer for the claims to be made. This makes it even more important that landlords and estate agents fully follow the new procedures. ‘
ARLA Propertymark added that the government should seek support for people with rent arrears as a result of the corona virus.
Mr. Douglas added, “It is important that we take steps back to normalcy and that both landlords and tenants have access to the justice system, especially in cases where tenants are acting antisocial or are pre-pandemic rent arrears.”
Judges can suspend legal proceedings if the information is not provided
Separately, another association – the National Residential Landlords Association – is calling for more financial support for government tenants.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “ When the courts begin to deal with cases again, it is essential that they resolve the most serious cases quickly, including those in which tenants exhibit antisocial behavior or where there are long-term rent arrears that have nothing to do with the pandemic.
“To provide security for tenants and landlords who have been badly affected during the lockdown, we are calling on the government to introduce a tenant loan scheme to help pay back arrears due to the corona virus.”