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New rules require information from landlords in possession cases

Thursday 20 August 2020

The Civil Procedure Rules Committee has agreed rule changes to be applied to possession proceedings once the current stay on proceedings comes to an end on 23 August 2020.

Impact of COVID-19

The new rules, in place until 28 March 2021, with the scope to be extended if deemed necessary, will require landlords in England and Wales seeking possession of their properties to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances.

This information includes that with an effect of COVID-19 on a tenant’s vulnerability or whether they are claiming benefits – information should also be provided on how the pandemic has affected a tenant’s dependents if any. Fortunately, the rules do not require agents or landlords to actively seek out information but merely to make the court aware of what information is known.

What does this mean?

The Rules do not change the regulations around possession for landlords and they do not amend Section 21 claims or Section 8 arrears claims. What is changing is some of the steps that landlords must follow if they want to apply for possession through the courts.

Different requirements apply depending on when the possession claim was first issued. These are temporary arrangements that the UK Government has introduced to ensure the civil justice system is accessible, fair, and efficient.

PROPERTYMARK RESOURCES

ARLA Propertymark has produced a Civil Procedure Rules fact sheet for members to help them understand how the different requirements apply depending on when the possession claim was first issued. Log in to the members' area below to download.

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