Law News

Government provides welcome clarity on possession cases but NRLA says courts must open

Em Morley - September 2, 2020

New regulations have been introduced that enforce new rules regarding repossession cases.

Landlords will now only need to give tenants who have committed anti-social behaviour four weeks’ notice of their intention to repossess a property. Those who have committed acts of domestic violence will only need to be given two weeks’ notice.

Landlords with tenants that have built up six months of rent arrears will be required to provide them with four weeks’ notice. This has been decided in response to tenants whose arrears have been built up before the COVID-19 lockdown.

The National Landlords Association (NRLA) welcomes this announcement. However, they are warning that it will mean nothing without a guarantee that the courts will begin to hear cases on 20th September. They say that it is a further disappointment that the six-month notice period will remain in cases where landlords need to regain possession of a property in order to live in it. There will continue to be the risk of penalising individuals, such as service men and women in the military, who rent their homes out whilst working away.

The NRLA also points out that this announcement from the Government also fails to provide the financial package of hardship loans needed to cover COVID-related rent that are vital to sustaining tenancies.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, said: “Today’s (28th August) announcement provides welcome clarity about how possession cases will be handled. However, it will mean nothing without a complete guarantee that the courts will hear cases from 20th September. 

“It is disappointing that the Government has so far failed to heed the warnings of the NRLA and others that a financial package is needed to pay-off rent arrears built due to COVID. In the end, this is the best way to sustain tenancies. We will continue to campaign hard for this important measure.”

You can read more about these new regulations on the government website.