The Stay on residential evictions under temporary Coronavirus legislation has been further extended. Here is where we now stand in relation to the various matters around property and possession.
RESIDENTIAL POSSESSIONS – WRITS OF POSSESSION (NON-TRESPASS)
The Stay imposed by CPR 55.29(1), stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, which placed a temporary hold on enforcement of non-trespass Writs of Possession under The Civil Procedure (Amendment No 2) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020, was due to expire on the 23rd August 2020 meaning that any pending matters that were subject to the Stay could once again proceed. However, the Government have today further extended this Stay by 4 more weeks until the 20th September 2020.
WRITS OF POSSESSION (TRESPASS)
No change at all, these can be issued, heard and executed as normal. Although there may be delays in the Court due to backlogs and changes to working practices.
COMMERCIAL RENT ARREARS RECOVERY
No further change at present. Current legislation from the 25th June 2020 in The Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (No. 2) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 sets out in Paragraph 2(4) in the second amendment of these Regulations further extension to the minimum amount of net unpaid rent that must be outstanding before Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) may take place to an amount equivalent to 189 days’ rent. Essentially this means that instead of the tenant needing to owe an amount equivalent to at least 7 days rent (initially increased to 90 days on 25th April 2020), the tenant must owe an amount of rent equivalent to at least 189 days’ rent.
Again, there is no further change at present. Current legislation from the 25th March 2020 where the Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force and Chapter 7, Part 1, Paragraph 82(1) states that “A right of re-entry or forfeiture, under a relevant business tenancy, for non-payment of rent may not be enforced, by action or otherwise, during the relevant period”. Chapter 7, Part 1, Paragraph 82(12)(b) set the relevant period to end on the 30th June 2020. Further to this on the 29th June 2020 The Business Tenancies (Protection from Forfeiture: Relevant Period) (Coronavirus) (England) Regulations 2020 came into force. Paragraph 2 amends the end of the relevant period as set out in Chapter 7, Part 1, Paragraph 82(12)(b) of the Coronavirus Act 2020 to the 30th September 2020.
* Note; These restrictions relate to forfeiture as a remedy for non-payment of rent only, the right to forfeit for a breach of any covenant or condition in the lease (save in the case of non-payment of rent) remains an available option subject to Section 146 Notices being served.
If you have any questions on these, or any other matters, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Many thanks and the kindest of regards.
Head of Commercial and Property Services