Leading evictions expert Paul Shamplina has warned landlords hoping to regain possession of their homes from tenants with rent arrears that the lockdown due to start tomorrow will, in practice, usher in a new evictions ban in everything but name.
Possession hearings have been proceeding in most courts since the stay on court proceedings was lifted on September 21st.
But since the ‘Tiered’ system of local lockdowns in many areas of the UK shut down bailiff evictions, it has been getting increasingly difficult for landlords to proceed even if they have green light to begin an eviction by a court.
All bailiff evictions will now come to a halt across England when the new lockdown kicks in tomorrow, as they did during the previous lockdown.
“Although the government will soon request that bailiffs down tools, in practice very, very few bailiffs would want to go into properties and get close and personal with tenants when the infection rate is rising and a national lockdown has been announced,” says Shamplina.
He points out that when the new lockdown ends on December 2nd, landlords then only have eight days to proceed with authorised evictions before the four-week long ‘Christmas truce’ begins on December 11th.
“Assuming the lockdown isn’t extended, this means evictions won’t restart until the second week in January after which there will be a significant bottle-neck of cases that need to be dealt with by bailiffs,” says Shamplina, whose company Landlord Action has one of its landlord clients featuring on BBC London News this week.
“So unlucky landlords could be waiting until February or March to regain possession.”
Welsh landlords are in a happier place – their ‘fire break’ lockdown is due to end on 9th November after which bailiff evictions will be able to proceed.