The guidance for landlords and tenants during Covid-19 has been updated to make serious rent arrears "greater than 6 months' rent" exempt from the extended evictions ban in England - removing the stipulation that rent accrued since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020 could be discounted.
The government has announced that evictions will now not be enforced by bailiffs until at least 21 February 2021, while courts will remain open with court procedures "regularly reviewed", and a new "mediation pilot" will come into play.
As under Tier 4 restrictions, the lettings industry can continue to operate during the third national lockdown in England. Letting agencies can "continue to work" and people are permitted to move home.
Covid-19 guidelines for letting agents and landlords, updated with the introduction of a fourth tier and still applicable during the third national lockdown, continue to prioritise tenant safety while reminding agents of tenant protections in place.
Local authorities will have greater powers to enforce compliance on businesses operating in an unsafe way, including financial penalties, when England returns to tiered restrictions on 2 December 2020.
"It's more important now than ever to make sure you get professional advice about the serving of a notice," says Tim Frome, discussing the most recent changes to the possession process as a result of Covid-19.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021, as restrictions increase throughout the UK.
Activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property have been made exceptions to the "stay at home" guidance under lockdown legislation.
The justice secretary wrote to bailiffs’ trade associations requesting that they do not carry out evictions in areas under Tier 2 and Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions.
A legal expert for ARLA Propertymark answers letting agents' questions on kickstarting the possession process for stayed cases, how long it could take for cases to be heard, accelerated procedures, notice periods for arrears, and more.