Landlords take note when expediting residential evictions based on a s21 notice

29 Mar 2021

The legislation surrounding the exercise of a warrant of possession against tenants who occupy premises under an assured shorthold tenancy is continually evolving due to Covid-19; a recent decision in the High Court has significant implications in the area of housing law, and will not have been welcomed by landlords generally.
 
The decision* has confirmed that any possession order based on a s21 notice alone cannot be used to enforce a warrant of possession during to the current restrictions on evictions.
 
The current position is that no warrants of possession can be exercised by the County Court bailiffs until at least 31 May 2021, unless the landlord satisfies a limited number of exceptions**. One of those grounds includes the fact that the tenant is in substantial rent arrears and the notice, writ or warrant relates to an order for possession made wholly or partly on Grounds 8, 10 or 11 in Schedule 2 of the Housing Act 1988 by serving a s8 notice under the Housing Act 1988 (as amended).
 
Landlords who have started their eviction process against a tenant by serving a s21 notice under the Housing Act 1988 and obtained a possession order on this basis will not be able to expedite any warrant for possession, even if they obtain a money judgment in those proceedings or the tenant is in substantial arrears generally.  In fact they will need to join the long queue to obtain an eviction date and wait until the restrictions on evictions are lifted. 
 
This will be frustrating to many landlords given that the notice periods under s21 and s8 can be up to six months and some may have started the eviction process long before the current regulations came into force; indeed they may have acted differently if they had known this was likely to be the case.
 
The current regulations remain in force until 31 May 2021, and given the fluidity of the situation it’s not clear whether the government will extend them further, or whether they might be amended.   This being the case, landlords should think carefully from the outset about what type of notice they wish to rely on to recover possession, and perhaps consider serving multiple notices now to protect their position if proceedings are required at a later date.
 
* The Corporation of the Trinity House of Deptford Strond v Prescott and Byrne [2021] EWHC 283 (QB)
**The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) (No.2) Regulations 2021.  
 

Further reading

Business and divorce: what to know if going into business with your spouse

Blog
30/01/2023
When going into business with a spouse, you do so without expecting to divorce. However, it is wise to consider this from the outset and plan for it, just in case
Read more Read

Pre-Nuptial Agreements: Part 1 – to have or not to have?

Blog
27/01/2023
Should you get a Pre-Nuptial Agreement? Nigel Winter discusses the answer to this question in the first of a series of blogs on the subject
Read more Read

US Attorney General Merrick Garland files Anti-Trust Suit against Google

Blog
25/01/2023
The tech giant is accused of buying up competitors. Google has stated that it does not hold a monopoly in the relevant market
Read more Read

DMH Stallard advises CGR on the acquisition of John Binns & Sons Ltd

Blog, News & PR
25/01/2023
“JB Springs is a fantastic opportunity for CGR to establish a first base in the UK. DMH Stallard played a key role helping us to close the deal.”
Read more Read
  • Brighton - Jubilee St

    1 Jubilee Street

    Brighton

    East Sussex

    BN1 1GE

  • Brighton - Old Steine

    47 Old Steine

    Brighton

    East Sussex

    BN1 1NW

  • Gatwick

    Griffin House

    135 High Street

    Crawley

    West Sussex

    RH10 1DQ

  • Guildford

    Wonersh House

    The Guildway

    Old Portsmouth Road

    Guildford

    Surrey

    GU3 1LR

  • Hassocks

    32 Keymer Road

    Hassocks

    West Sussex

    BN6 8AL

  • Horsham

    Ridgeland House

    15 Carfax

    Horsham

    West Sussex

    RH12 1DY

  • London

    6 New Street Square

    New Fetter Lane

    London

    EC4A 3BF

  • Make an enquiry

    Make an enquiry

    Message

    Or head to our Contact us page