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Possession claims stayed for another month
- AuthorDaniel Crook
Those who read my previous short article will be aware of the stay on possession claims imposed by CPR 55.29 was due to end on Sunday 23 August. At the mast minute, on 20 August 2020 the Lord Chancellor directed the Master of the Rolls and the Civil Procedure Rules Committee to amend the Rules to extend the stay for another 4 weeks, to 20 September 2020 (A total stay of 6 months).
In a letter from the Master of the Rolls he said:-
‘The 4 week extension to the stay relating to housing possession cases, will allow for further work to be done to prepare for the stay to be lifted which in many respects can be welcomed’.
I am not convinced this will be ‘welcomed’ by all. A further 4 weeks will lead to increasing the volume of the backlog, which will further pressurise HMCTS. I have a number of clients who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the original extension and this latest extension comes a massive blow to them. I accept the Government has to factor in the effect on tenants as well, but is kicking the matter down the line really the answer?
It is not clear why the HMCTS needed more time, beyond what they have already had, to do further preparatory work.
The government also intends to give tenants greater protection from eviction over the winter by requiring landlords to provide tenants with 6 months’ notice in all bar those cases raising other serious issues such as those involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators, until at least the end of March.
The decision is made so the question now is will claims be up and running from 20th September? Time will tell.