A report welcomed by the Master of the Rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, has highlighted the major problems faced by the courts service if it is to clear the backlog of eviction cases after the ban is lifted.

Published by the Civil Justice Council, it both warns of the additional delays landlords will face later this year in order to secure possession hearings, and suggests how the backlog could be cleared.

“Respondents reported that the backlog generated by the current stay in possession proceedings [will] pose an enormous challenge for the civil justice system,” it says.

Also, the report’s contributing experts who specialise in both housing law and the experience of vulnerable people say that remote hearings are unsuitable for possession cases.

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The vast majority of vulnerable tenants have mental health and money issues and struggle with face-to-face court proceedings, never mind the challenges of accessing remote hearings, they say.

Although landlords will appreciate the problems faced by both legal teams and vulnerable tenants once the courts re-open, they may not like the report’s recommendations.

Mandatory grounds

These are to temporarily relax the Section 8 mandatory ground for possession if tenants fail to pay their rent for eight weeks, and to strengthen the government’s proposed pre-action protocols to protect vulnerable tenants.

“This would require landlords and lenders to demonstrate that they have taken proactive steps to secure legal advice for tenants and generalist advice to assist with the resolution of any underlying issues with accessing welfare benefits,” says ARLA Propertymark.

“This would need to be funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government . An expansion in the availability of legal advice to meet demand would also be needed.”

In summary, until the Coronavirus crisis ends fully and the courts system returns to normal, rather than use remote viewings, it recommends that tenants are prevented from being evicted.

Read the ‘Impact of COVID-19 measures on the civil justice system’ report in full.



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13 COMMENTS

  1. Why should it ve the responsibility of the LL to determine legal advice for a rent defaulting tenant?

    Banks aren’t interested in the mental well- being of anyone.
    They just want their money and rightly so.

    Nope the solution is to suspend the normal eviction process and allow any tenant to be removed by Police the day after the expiration of a 2 month S21 notice.
    No Court time needed.

    Many tenants threatened with such will magically find the money to pay their rent arrears.
    Few LL will wish to evict if their tenant pays the rent again abd arrears.

    The only qualification for such S21 usage is that it would only be allowed to evict so quickly for rent default.
    So magically the S21 process would become a fault based eviction.

    It is just TOUGH if rent defaulting tenants for whatever reason find themselves booted out.

    The LL is not providing FREE accommodation.

    Therefore LL should if they wish be permitted to quickly get rid of rent defaulting tenants.
    If the S21 is for reasons other than rent default then it must be kept as part if the normal S21 process.

    It is pointless delaying eviction as fir many LL with mortgages lenders will simply repossess meaning the tenant is removed very quickly and so will the LL from his own home when bankrupted by repossession.

    It is pointless making two people homeless when it is only one that should be namely the rent defaulting tenant.

  2. Why should it be the responsibility of the LL to determine legal advice for a rent defaulting tenant?

    Banks aren’t interested in the mental well- being of anyone.
    They just want their money and rightly so.

    Nope the solution is to suspend the normal eviction process and allow any tenant to be removed by Police the day after the expiration of a 2 month S21 notice.
    No Court time needed.

    Many tenants threatened with such will magically find the money to pay their rent arrears.
    Few LL will wish to evict if their tenant pays the rent again and arrears.

    The only qualification for such S21 usage is that it would only be allowed to evict so quickly for rent default.
    So magically the S21 process would become a fault based eviction.

    It is just TOUGH if rent defaulting tenants for whatever reason find themselves booted out.

    The LL is not providing FREE accommodation.

    Therefore LL should if they wish be permitted to quickly get rid of rent defaulting tenants.
    If the S21 is for reasons other than rent default then it must be kept as part if the normal S21 process.

    It is pointless delaying eviction as fir many LL with mortgages lenders will simply repossess meaning the tenant is removed very quickly and so will the LL from his own home when bankrupted by repossession.

    It is pointless making two people homeless when it is only one that should be namely the rent defaulting tenant.

  3. This is and always has been a very straightforward problem to fix.
    Pay the landlords all DSS housing payments direct, its no rocket science!!

    No way say the plethora of lawyers, council housing workers, charities like shelter and civil servants earning off this mess, we need to feed of this sacrificial cow too. You don’t want this mess to end as your a parasitical bludger making money from others misfortune.

    You evil bastards one and all

  4. No problem!! Government should pay full compensation to Landlords and recover the money as and when Tenants go to Court.
    JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED!

  5. Government has well and truly stuffed private and social providers of housing. The ban on evictions has prompted many tenants to stop paying the rent, knowing they can’t be evicted. Cases that were already running before the lockdown have been made significantly worse and yet this report suggests that defaulting tenants are mollycoddled further and allowed to keep a roof over their heads for free. Will Tesco’s be giving them free food too??? No, thought not.

    Certainly some people have lost jobs because of the virus. I have sympathy for them but people lost jobs every day of the week before the virus. Why is this different and why should the landlord have to bear the brunt of the issue. These people can apply for housing benefit but it must be paid to the landlord and not the tenant.

    Then there’s the issue of anti-social tenants. Haven’t the neighbours had to suffer enough already?

    What about those attempting to flee domestic abuse? The Private Rented Sector houses over 90% of these people, mostly women and kids. If landlords are prevented from evicting defaulting tenants then there is no room for these refugees. They have almost certainly suffered significantly more because of the lockdown and now must do so indefinitely.

    Where’s the ‘civil justice’ in this Civil Justice Council???

  6. There would not have been a backlog if the government had dealt with it at source.
    Anybody able to proof that they could not pay the rent because of CV19 should have had the rent paid via government.
    Instead there are many tenants able to pay and are choosing not to all supported by this government.

  7. My tenant owes more than 10000, eviction stopped when covid started, and he sub letting rooms now, bill mounting up, now openly says will not pay evict me, on the verge of losing the property altogether

  8. It’s disgusting that both the citizens advice and the council have told tenants to stay put until they are evicted! They should also be taken to court once this is over for all the trouble and debt they have caused for loan landlords.. This rule is ruining lives whilst tenants are living for free!

  9. One of the key problems that has been ignored by the courts is the fact that LLs do not care about their tenants. The courts refused to consider that the issues surrounding the agreement between a LL and tenant is an offeror and offeree issues which is embedded upon both accepting to do the business together even if their is an agrnt in place who mostly preferred to take the side of the landlord rather than the tenant.
    Also the courts had refused to look at a practicality of landlord’s duty/responsibility to provide a good and adequate service to meet the tenant’s needs but rather chose not but flexes the muscle of evition against the tenant. A provider of a good service is entitled to received a payment towards such good service and the service is breached, then the payment can stop forthcoming until a good service is in place then the payment can resume. However, the landlords took advantage against the tenants on benefits to bypass and collect the rent directly from the government leaving the tenants in same inhumane housing conditions until such time either the tenant leaves of evicted via s.21 Notices. This is preposterous and unfair on tenants side.

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