The government has listened to industry lobbying and confirmed that it is waiving renewal fees for landlords whose possession warrants have run out of time due to the ongoing evictions ban, and now have to be re-run through the courts.
This change is contained within detailed guidance issued yesterday by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for landlords and tenants.
Now, the thousands of landlords who have an outstanding warrant possession that has expired or is about to expire have a three-month window from 1st June to 31st August 2021 to re-apply for a 12-month extension.
They will not be required to pay the usual £100 or £255 warrant extension fee. This applies to properties both in England and Wales.
The fee waiver will only be applicable to possession warrants issued after the start of the first lockdown on 16th March 2020.
“Possession warrants which were issued or expired prior to this date will require an application and fee to extend the life of the warrant,” the advice says.
The announcement has been made ahead of 1st June, when the current evictions ban ends and bailiff warrants can be enforced.
The updated guidance also makes one other change to the evictions process, allowing tenants and landlords to use the government’s new mediation service during the review hearing stage, should both parties wish to.
“The guidance says that cases could get allocated to mediation at the review hearings stage,” says Tim Frome of Landlord Action (pictured).
“We’ll have to wait and see if that happens and if judges start contacting the parties at the review hearing to ask them.
“Both parties need to agree to mediation, but by the time it’s got that far it is unlikely a landlord would want mediation.”