Housing cases during the Covid-19 crisis, January 2021: residential evictions banned again

January 11, 2021

From today, the ban on residential evictions has been extended in England and in Wales.

In England

From 11 January 2021, The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) Regulations 2021 come into effect; the previous 2020 Regulations have expired.

In effect, the ban on evictions is once again extended to 22 February 2021.

Under Reg 2:

(1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), and (5), no person may attend at a dwelling house for the purpose of—

(a)executing a writ or warrant of possession; or

(b)delivering a notice of eviction

Important exceptions to note

  • This rule does not apply where the possession order has been made (a) against trespassers under CPR 55.6, (b) wholly or party under s.84A Housing Act 1985 (anti-social behaviour) and various other exceptions (reg 2(2)).
  • It does not apply where the case “involves substantial arrears”, which is defined as where “the amount of unpaid rent arrears outstanding is at least an amount equivalent to 6 months’ rent”. Presumably this means as at the date of application for a warrant, meaning that arrears caused by COVID can be included.

In Wales

The Public Health (Protection from Eviction) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 are also in force from 11 January 2021.

They differ in two material respects from the English regulations

  • There is no exception for “substantial arrears”; and
  • The regulations apply for longer, expiring at midnight on 31 March 2021.

If you would like any advice on these issues or any related matters, our housing barristers can help, please contact our clerks for details.