Government Extends Stay on Bailiff Evictions until 31 May 2021

Government Extends Stay on Bailiff Evictions until 31 May 2021


On 10 March 2021, the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced that the current Stay on bailiff enforced evictions, which was set to expire on 31 March 2021, has now been extended until 31 May 2021.   This means that the current requirement for landlords to provide their Tenants with at least six months’ notice of eviction shall continue to be in place until 31 May 2021. 

However, you may still apply to the Court for an exception to the Stay in particular circumstances, these being where the original claim for possession is made on the grounds of; 

  1. illegal occupation; 
  2. false statement given to obtain a tenancy; 
  3. anti-social behaviour; 
  4. perpetrators of domestic violence in the Social Housing Sector;
  5. where the property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant; 
  6. where there are serious rent arrears that are greater than six months’ rent – 
    • It is not now relevant if those arrears arose after March 2020.  Where the Landlord is relying on an exception an Application must be made to the Court for the Judge to confirm that such an exception does exist.  There is no fee for this Application. 

We have made a succession of successful applications for the exception on six months’ rent to be determined by the Court, whether or not the possession order was on the basis of rent arrears or Section 21 notice of seeking possession. Once obtained the Order must then be served on the enforcing officer. 

Landlords continue to call for the Government to provide a package of loans and grants needed for what they expect to be an increasing debt crisis.

Landlords can still take action.  Notices Seeking Possession may still be served on tenants but must comply with the extended notice periods the Government previously introduced. 

Possession Proceedings can also be submitted to the Court and will be issued.

The Courts are seeking to address the substantial backlog of cases following the stay of Possession Proceedings.  The Courts have introduced revised procedures including a Review of each case (without a Hearing) to identify those proceedings that require a substantive hearing.   Any substantive Hearing will take place at a specific time with the Court operating appropriate Coronavirus protection measures to assist those attending, if the hearing is not dealt with remotely by video or telephone.   

Proceedings can still be issued for money judgements for rent arrears only.

The Courts will allow emergency applications to include Injunction Applications both regarding anti-social behaviour and for access to enable statutory safety checks to be carried out. 

Possession Proceedings have become increasingly complex at all stages as a result of a succession of Coronavirus regulations being introduced by the Government; Landlords should seek specialist legal advice to make sure that all steps they take comply with the latest requirements

Please contact Jeremy Teall, Head of Landlord & Tenant, if you have any queries related to this blog, or require any assistance with a possession claim –