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Courts open, but please don’t use

We strongly advise landlords not to commence or continue possession proceedings during this challenging time without a very good reason to do so’, said the Government in its latest guidance to landlords on coping with the Coronavirus Crisis.

From 21 September 2020, the courts will consider possession cases again, the guidance explains. ‘The judiciary has agreed to prioritise the most serious cases for action. As a guide, priority will be given to claims issued before the stay commenced in March 2020, and to cases including those involving anti-social behaviour, extreme rent arrears, domestic abuse, fraud and deception, illegal occupiers and squatters or abandonment of a property, unlawful subletting, and cases concerning what was allocated as temporary accommodation by an authority. This will provide assurance to landlords, their tenants and neighbours facing the most egregious cases’.

However, the Governments said it continues to encourage landlords to consider other options to resolve disputes with their tenants before taking possession action through the courts. Where appropriate, if disputes over rent or other matters persist, landlords and tenants are encouraged to consider mediation. 

Latest Government guidance includes:

The guidance applies to England only. Some of the measures referred to also apply in Wales. There is also guidance available from the Welsh and Scottish Governments.