It is “extremely likely” there will be an extension to the current ban on bailiffs conducting evictions even after court orders have been made.
That’s the view of the National Residential Landlords Association, which says on its website that although courts remain open and - for now at least - possession orders can still be granted on paper, bailiffs cannot enforce warrants under a deal which runs until January 11.
However, that deal was struck back in November so the NRLA warns that, in the light off the new lockdown in England, “it is extremely likely there will be a further announcement on this in the coming days.”
The association also warns that the new lockdown is expected to lead to more tenants falling into arrears.
As with so many measures relating to the Coronavirus crisis in the UK, the eviction ban has been an on-off affair for almost a year now.
The first formal eviction ban started in March and ended in September, only to be reinstated in areas classified as Covid risk Tier 2 or Tier 3 during the autumn.
Then on November 5 the government said renters would be protected during the second England-wide restrictions with no bailiff enforcement action, except for the most egregious cases such as anti-social behaviour.
The government also said that an exemption would be introduced for extreme pre-Covid rent arrears cases - those evictions could take place after all, thus meaning bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers could move to enforce warrants and complete evictions.
However, this will only apply to cases where the equivalent of nine months’ rent arrears had been built up before March 23 last year, when the UK went into its first national lockdown.