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

DMH Stallard LLP acts for Chill Brands Group plc in completing its fundraisings

DMH Stallard was legal adviser to Chill Brands Group plc on the fundraisings and publication of the prospectus and liaised with the Financial Conduct Authority. The DMH Stallard team was led by Nick Williams and included Georgina Thomas, Amber Monaghan and Claire Baker.
Read more Read

Corporate Awards are ‘gr-eight’ for DMH Stallard

Blog, News & PR
The Corporate department at DMH Stallard has been shortlisted for an incredible eight different awards at the 2024 South East Dealmakers Awards
Read more Read

What does fair redundancy consultation mean?

Blog, Legal Updates
All employers will be familiar with the need to follow a fair process of consultation in relation to any redundancy dismissals. But what does that mean? A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal decision underlined the importance of one aspect of the process
Read more Read

Major Reforms to Companies House

Blog, Legal Updates
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (the “Act”) has now received Royal Assent and become law. Its objective is to deliver a range of reforms to tackle economic crime and improve transparency over corporate entities.
Read more Read
  • Brighton - Jubilee St

    1 Jubilee Street


    East Sussex

    BN1 1GE

  • Brighton - Old Steine

    47 Old Steine


    East Sussex

    BN1 1NW

  • Gatwick

    Griffin House

    135 High Street


    West Sussex

    RH10 1DQ

  • Guildford

    Wonersh House

    The Guildway

    Old Portsmouth Road



    GU3 1LR

  • Hassocks

    32 Keymer Road


    West Sussex

    BN6 8AL

  • Horsham

    3rd Floor

    Afon Building

    Worthing Road


    West Sussex

    RH12 1TL

  • London

    6 New Street Square

    New Fetter Lane


    EC4A 3BF

  • Make an enquiry

    Make an enquiry


    Or head to our Contact us page