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Curtis Whiteford Crocker solicitors, based in Tavistock, Plymouth & Torpoint.

A new statutory instrument has come into effect across England from 17th November 2020 until 11th January 2021. This directly results to tenants receiving eviction notices or tenants that are in arrears.

Ground For Evicting Tenants

Under the new instrument enforcement agents may not carry out residential evictions or serve notice of eviction unless the order for possession is made:

Against trespassers pursuant to a claim to which rule 55.6 (service of claims against trespassers) of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998(2) applies

Wholly or partly under section 84A (absolute ground for possession for anti-social behaviour) of the Housing Act 1985
Wholly or partly on ground 2, 2A or 5 of schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988

Wholly or partly on ground 7 of schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 – the enforcement agent must take reasonable steps to ensure the residential premises are empty before serving notice or enforcing the writ/warrant of possession

Wholly or partly on ground 7A, 14, 14A or 17 of schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1985

Wholly or partly on case 2 of schedule 15 of the Rent Act 1977
Where there are substantial rent arrears

Substantial Rent Arrears

The statutory instrument has also detailed the circumstances under which landlords may evict their tenants where there are substantial rent arrears:

There must be arrears equivalent to at least nine months’ rent outstanding at the date on which the order or possession granted.
The arrears must have accrued before 23rd March 2020. Any unpaid rent arrears accrued after this date must be disregarded.

Taking Control of Goods

Enforcement visits are permitted during the national lockdown, provided that enforcement agents follow regulation 3, which states that they may not enter residential premises to take control of goods.

Regulation 3 expires at the end of the national lockdown that started on 5th November.

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