New govt guidance for evictions

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    New govt guidance for evictions

    The latest guidance

    According to the latest guidance, although possession claims remain suspended until 23 August 2020, the Government has announced temporary changes to procedures. These include:
    • For applications sent to court before 3 August, claimants will need to issue a ‘reactivation notice’ in writing to the court as these applications have been suspended (stayed)
    • This means that:
      • Claims will not automatically be processed by the court when they reopen on 24 August; they will need to be reactivated
      • Failure to submit a ‘reactivation notice’ on a claim issued before 3 August 2020 by 4pm on 29 January 2021, will then require a normal application to lift the stayFor claims made after 3 August, no ‘reactivation notice’ will be needed. It is also not required where a possession order was previously granted then stayed
    • The defendant, meanwhile, will need to state that they want to resume stayed proceedings after the expiry of the stay. Landlord Action will soon be producing a template to assist customers and the court to cover the requirements of the ‘reactivation notice’. They will be contacting clients shortly to help complete the template
    • Claimants must provide any relevant information about the defendant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the pandemic on the defendant and their dependants. This is primarily so the court can consider defendants’ vulnerability, disability, and social security position, and those who are “shielding.”
    • Claimants will need to produce the full arrears history of the defendant in advance, rather than at the hearing (as far as practicable)
    • The court will be able to fix a date either on or after issue, so that hearings are appropriately spread out
    • The court can suspend the standard period between issue of a claim form and hearing (which would usually be no more than eight weeks) to spread out hearings appropriately and ensure that the court has capacity

    #2
    So this means I've got to do all this coronavirus mediation rubbish despite my eviction process starting last year

    Comment


      #3
      ''so the court can consider defendants’ vulnerability, disability, and social security position, and those who are “shielding.”

      This is the bit i would be worried about........ if any of your non paying/asb tenants have this then i see trouble ahead.


      Comment


        #4
        The point is that, as a landlord, you have no duty to make enquiries that would allow you to respond.
        So the form would contain a "not known" response - particularly where the tenant has simply gone dark.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          "Claimants must provide any relevant information about the defendant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the pandemic on the defendant and their dependants. This is primarily so the court can consider defendants’ vulnerability, disability, and social security position, and those who are “shielding.” "

          Must the claimant provide evidence to support any relevant information (I'd want some), and must the defendant provide this to the claimant before going to court (rather than at the hearing)?

          Comment


            #6
            I think most of that press release is meaningless reassuring nonsense.

            The law hasn't changed, so the only way that a court can consider the tenant's circumstances is where there is a s8 hearing on discretionary grounds.

            Judges just don't have the discretion to do anything otherwise, other than be extra diligent about process, and it's hard to imagine judges being more diligent than they are already.

            The only thing that they can do other than that is either postpone the hearing or give the maximum period of possession instead of the "customary" 14 days, but the maximum possible is 42 days.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              I have been told by my solicitor that we need to write to my tenant to ask if the pandemic has had any impact on their lives or their dependents lives, such as physical or mental health. They will charge 500+vat for this.
              Do I have any choice but to give the solicitor the go ahead?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Propertygoesup View Post
                I have been told by my solicitor that we need to write to my tenant to ask if the pandemic has had any impact on their lives or their dependents lives, such as physical or mental health. They will charge 500+vat for this.
                Do I have any choice but to give the solicitor the go ahead?
                Why are you going with section 8? To give your solicitor lots of things to charge you for?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Why do you think I am using section 8 kind sir? I've been using section 21 since November. It was meant to be a straightforward process.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Propertygoesup View Post
                    Why do you think I am using section 8 kind sir? I've been using section 21 since November. It was meant to be a straightforward process.

                    Because of what JPK just mentioned.

                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
                    The law hasn't changed, so the only way that a court can consider the tenant's circumstances is where there is a s8 hearing on discretionary grounds.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      It sounds like all cases whether s21 or s8 requires this procedure to be followed

                      Comment


                        #12
                        As I've said before, health data is particularly sensitive and counts as a special category of information under GDPR that your privacy notice and most landlords data procedures won't cover. We should not be making such enquiries of our tenants

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Propertygoesup View Post
                          I have been told by my solicitor that we need to write to my tenant to ask if the pandemic has had any impact on their lives or their dependents lives, such as physical or mental health. They will charge 500+vat for this.
                          Do I have any choice but to give the solicitor the go ahead?
                          Yes.
                          You can ask them where they think the duty to investigate has come from?

                          You're asked to declare anything you know about the tenant's circumstances, not what you've been able to find out.
                          If the tenant hasn't, so far, offered any information about the impact of the pandemic, you have no obligation to enquire.

                          Your solicitor might feel it's a good idea to be on the court's good side, which is quite a reasonable thing for them to consider.
                          But even if the tenant was affected by (for example) being in intensive care since March and has had no income, what can the judge do about the s21 notice if it's, otherwise, valid?
                          Ask if you mind terribly not going ahead?

                          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Propertygoesup View Post
                            I have been told by my solicitor that we need to write to my tenant to ask if the pandemic has had any impact on their lives or their dependents lives, such as physical or mental health. They will charge 500+vat for this.
                            Do I have any choice but to give the solicitor the go ahead?
                            I'd fire the solicitor. But...

                            a) Why couldn't you write such a letter for the price of a stamp? (Could be your solicitor is quoting a silly price as he thinks it's a daft request..) But see b)


                            b) You and/or your solicitor seem think it's OK to ask you esteemed tenant ""if the pandemic has had any impact on their lives or their dependents lives, such as physical or mental health.""" If so clearly you/sol think that's a reasonable request. So you'd be happy to be asked to reply to that same request if made by tenant to you? One might argue such a letter would be a nice element in a harassment case...


                            Stone me....

                            For what it's worth I suspect that many would argue the pandemic has had an impact on much of the adult population's mental health... Certainly there's evidence I've seen to that effect amongst acquaintances, neighbours, friends & extended family, very sadly. See also e.g.
                            https://www.health.org.uk/news-and-c...lth-and-health
                            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                            Comment

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