The Government had extended the eviction ban in England several times, but it is now due to (hopefully) come to an end on 31 May 2021. The courts will continue to prioritise more serious cases for example those involving fraud or anti-social behaviour (see time periods below). Many evictions pre-dating the Covid-19 pandemic will also be waiting to be enforced, so a back-log is expected.
The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions should end on 31 May 2021. Bailiffs will be able to enforce evictions unless someone in the property has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.
Where a possession order has been granted, 14 days’ notice may still be required before an eviction can take place and it is expected that no evictions are likely to take place until mid-June, except for in most serious circumstances. You may be able to get a quicker eviction if you have permission to transfer to the High Court for enforcement.
If you are currently faced with a problem guardian and have not already taken steps, you may want to consider starting a strategy to evict them now, including:
1. Check your systems to identify those individuals in breach of their licence agreements, either due to arrears or other issues.
2. Communicate with those individuals this week to understand the reason/s for the breach/es. Could you negotiate a payment plan or if you need to hand-back a building could you offer them an alternative space in another building?
3. Absent good reason for the breach/es and/or an agreed payment plan or relocation package, consider serving a valid Notice to Determine (“NTD”) on the property guardian in the next week or so to start the clock running.
4. If the property guardian fails to vacate pursuant to the NTD, consider issuing proceedings against them as soon as you can.
If you need help serving an NTD, issuing proceedings against an unwanted property guardian and/or enforcing an existing possession order, please get in touch with our Property Guardianship Team.