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Coronavirus – 5th November Lockdown – Possession

Posted on November 6th, 2020

The Lord Chancellor has issued guidance to the High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA) relating to the enforcement of writs of control and writs of possession during the national lockdown in England that started on 5th November 2020.

The courts will remain open during the national lockdown.

Writs of control

He says that enforcement visits may continue during the national lockdown, provided that enforcement agents continue to adhere to the Covid-secure guidance and that they do not enter residential properties during this period.

This is the same guidance that was issued for enforcement visits during tier 2 and tier 3 local lockdowns.

Enforcement visits to commercial premises are unchanged and the enforcement agent may enter the premises.

Writs of possession

During the national lockdown, enforcement agents are not to attend residential premises to serve notice of eviction or to enforce a writ of possession. This is to protect both public health and struggling households in the private and social rented sector.

There are a number of exceptions where evictions at residential premises can take part. These are in the following circumstances:

  • Illegal trespass or squatting by persons unknown (all types of premises and land)
  • Nuisance or antisocial behaviour
  • Domestic abuse
  • Fraud or deception
  • Unoccupied properties following the death of the defendant

Extreme levels of rent arrears

The Lord Chancellor also intends to allow evictions where there are “extreme” levels of pre-Covid rent arrears. We await finalised and published details on this.

Article by David Asker, The Sheriff’s Office


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