"We are calling also for priority to be given to cases where possession orders were granted prior to lockdown or where rent arrears have nothing to do with the Covid pandemic."
A Government Minister has confirmed that the courts will begin to hear possession cases from 24th August.
Responding to a series of parliamentary questions, Lord Greenhalgh, a Minister at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has said that from the 24th August, “the courts will begin to process possession cases again”.
After what would be a five month suspension, the Minister argued that this would be “an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.” He reiterated however that work is ongoing to ensure “the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”
The Minister confirmed that under plans to end Section 21 repossessions as part of the Renters’ Reform Bill, Ministers want to ensure that “landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property through the courts where they have a legitimate reason to do so”.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “The Minister’s comments provide greater certainty for the rental market.
“We continue to work hard with landlords and tenants to sustain tenancies wherever possible. In the vast majority of cases this is happening.
“It is vital however that swift action can be taken against those tenants committing anti-social behaviour or domestic violence. We are calling also for priority to be given to cases where possession orders were granted prior to lockdown or where rent arrears have nothing to do with the Covid pandemic.”
Last month, the FCA confirmed that the current ban on lender repossessions of homes will be continued to 31st of October 2020.
An MHCLG spokesperson said: “The Government has taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic and there will have been no evictions for five months. We are working with the judiciary to ensure that, as far as practicable, arrangements are in place to give appropriate protections for those who have been particularly affected by coronavirus when proceedings start again.
“We have put in place a support package to help prevent people getting into financial hardship or rent arrears which includes help for businesses to pay staff salaries, providing over £6.5 billion to strengthen the welfare safety-net and increasing Local Housing Allowance rates so that they cover the lowest 30% of market rents.”