According to Cavendish Legal Group, as the pandemic has had a negative financial impact on tenants through unemployment, furlough and reduced pay, courts are now required to consider tenant’s circumstances when a possession claim is made.
There has also been an extension of updated regulation, PD5CC, to the end of July this year. This is a temporary modification to current laws which requires parties to file and serve a reactivation notice to get claims relisted if they were brought before 19 September.
Landlords must also give at least six months’ notice if they issue possession proceedings after 29 August 2020 under section 8 or section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
Cavendish Legal Group’s litigation partner Jonathan Frankel said that this could have a huge financial impact on landlords as tenants may still not be paying rent or damaging the property during this time. He noted that the key issue is that a notice must also be provided outlining the effects of Covid-19 on the tenant and their dependents.
Frankel said: “It is key in helping identify the strongest ground to argue, understanding the formalities of serving notices and what next steps are available to you since the introduction of Covid-19 legislation, to have that [legal] expertise onside.
“But at the same time, landlords should not lose all hope in being able to take possession back of their properties, as the court will also take into account the impact the landlord has experienced due to the pandemic. For example, where a tenant is not paying rent and this is a key source of income for a landlord to be able to afford their own homes, it has to be considered by the court.”