Government announcement to extend ban on bailiff evictions and forfeiture of commercial leases

Sarah Woolnough

Senior Associate

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March 11, 2021

Categories Coronavirus (COVID-19)Landlord and Tenant

During the covid19 pandemic, the Government has been quick to introduce legislation and regulations to protect both commercial and residential tenants from being evicted when perhaps, through no fault of their own they have accumulated rent arrears.

Whilst this has not been an ideal position for commercial or residential landlords many of whom who have also suffered financially, my advice throughout to clients has been that you can still issue notices to seek possession in residential cases and you can still take Court proceedings to get a possession order, it is just going to take longer than usual to actually obtain possession if a bailiff eviction is required.

Commercial landlords do also have a limited number of other avenues open to them where the tenant is not paying the rent. Forfeiture for other reasons other than non-payment of rent is also permitted

In the news yesterday was a further announcement from the Government for commercial and residential landlords. For commercial landlords the Government confirmed that the commercial restrictions on forfeiture for non-payment of rent arrears has been pushed back from 31 March 2021 to 30 June 2021.

For residential landlords, the current ban on bailiff evictions of residential tenants has been pushed back from 31 March 2021 to 31 May 2021. It is of note that in relation to residential evictions by bailiff, the announcement says that the bailiff ban is being pushed back to “at least 31 May” which indicates that that date may well change.

In addition, residential landlords are still going to have to issue notices to seek possession of their rental properties by giving tenants 6 months’ notice – again that requirement was due to finish at the end of March 2021 and now is pushed back to “at least 31 May”. Again this indicates the Government could look to extend this further.

I am more than happy to speak to landlords (commercial or residential) to give them advice and provide my own “roadmap” of how they may seek possession of their properties.

Contact Sarah Woolnough on 01227 763939 for advice.