On 25 March 2020, in response to the Covid-19 crisis, the government introduced the Coronavirus Act 2020 (the “Act”).
In our article dated 8 April 2020 we explained that the Act, among other things, imposes restrictions, for a temporary period, on landlords’ ability to recover possession of their rented property (be it commercial or residential) in the usual way. In addition to the Act, Practice Direction 51Z (or PD 51Z) to the Civil Procedure Rules was made on 26 March 2020 and came into force the next day. Broadly speaking, it put a blanket stay on almost all possession claims until at least 25 June 2020.
On 5 June 2020 Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, announced via Twitter that the suspension on evictions from social and private rented accommodation would be extended by a further two months. This announcement was later followed up by a press release on the Government website (which can be found here). The announcement outlined that PD 51Z will be extended in its current form until 23 August 2020.
As before, time will not run during the stay, claims can still be issued during this period (although they will be immediately stayed), and the stay does not include claims brought against persons unknown or for interim possession orders.
For more information please contact Bryony Darnell.