A key evictions window for landlords has been closed by the government as part of its plans to clear the possession hearings backlog.

Until before Friday 30th April at 4pm landlords and their solicitors were able to apply to a county court to continue an eviction by submitting a ‘reactivation notice’.

This applied to landlords who had issued eviction notices prior to 3rd August 2020 and who, in many cases, had been waiting since then with tenants who are in severe arrears.

But the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says that now that the deadline has passed landlords will have to apply to the court for a possession hearing and pay a fee. This will also put them at the back of the queue.

The deadline, which was previously extended from end of February, was designed to force landlords who have been wavering over whether to continue the evictions process against tenants. It was hoped landlords would come to a debt agreement with their tenants or hope they leave of their own accord before having to make a decision about continuing court action.

The updated MHCLG advice says: “You should consider whether making a possession claim is appropriate before confirming that you wish to proceed.

“For example, if you are making a claim on rent arrears grounds you may wish to negotiate a rent repayment plan with your tenant rather than proceed with the possession claim.”

Paul Shamplina of Landlord Action (pictured), says: “The re-starting of bailiff evictions on 1st June cannot come soon enough for the 20,000 or so landlords waiting to regain possession of their properties, many of whom have been waiting a year or more to eject tenants who stopped paying their rent before Covid struck.”

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