The government appears to have confirmed that the evictions ban will end in late August and courts will resume hearing possession cases from that time.
Responding to a series of parliamentary questions, Lord Greenhalgh - a junior minister at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government - has said that from August 24 “the courts will begin to process possession cases again”.
After what would be a five month suspension, the minister argued that this would be “an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.”
He reiterated however that work is ongoing to ensure “the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”
The minister confirmed that under plans to end Section 21 repossessions as part of the Renters’ Reform Bill, ministers want to ensure that “landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property through the courts where they have a legitimate reason to do so.”
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, says of the news: “The minister’s comments provide greater certainty for the rental market.
“We continue to work hard with landlords and tenants to sustain tenancies wherever possible. In the vast majority of cases this is happening.
“It is vital however that swift action can be taken against those tenants committing anti-social behaviour or domestic violence. We are calling also for priority to be given to cases where possession orders were granted prior to lockdown or where rent arrears have nothing to do with the COVID pandemic.”