Possession claims will have to be re-activated
Under the Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Coronavirus Act 2020 landlords need to re-activate their notices should they still wish to proceed with their possession claim.
New rules require landlords who have issued possession proceedings to re-activate their notices if they wish to proceed with court action.
The text from the ministry of justice states:
In consequence of the Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020, above, a new Practice Direction, PD55C is introduced. The main changes are:
- To require a claimant who wishes to continue the proceedings after the expiry of the stay to provide a “reactivation notice” informing the court (and Defendant) in writing of this (without which the case will remain dormant).
- Where the claim includes non-payment of rent, that the particulars of the claim set out what knowledge (if any) that party has as to the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Defendant and their dependants
- Suspends the standard period between the issue of a claim form and hearing, which would usually be no more than eight weeks.
- Encourages a claimant to produce the full arrears history in advance rather than at the hearing.
- Due to expire on the 28 March 2021.
The government has updated the Technical renting guidance for landlords too.
No prescribed form for the Notice to re-activate
Currently, there is no prescribed form for the Notice to re-activate a possession claim or guidance what the Notice to re-activate should contain. It is vital all landlords with possession claims in the county court to re-activate the possession claim. You must serve all the necessary documents, so as to ensure you do not have any further delays where the documents are not correct or deficient in any way. Given the delays in possession proceedings because of COVID-19, the last thing you want is for the court hearing to be put off again due to faulty documents.
Where can I get documents and forms to re-activate my possession claim?
The British Landlord Association has produced a “Notice to Re-activate a possession claim” with other supporting documents below:
- Notice to Re-activate possession claim (court copy)
- Notice to Re-activate possession claim (Tenant copy)
- COVID-19 Tenant Means Form
- Certificate of service (evidence notice has been sent to the tenant with a list of other documents too) send this to the court with the other documents in the list here.
- Covering letter for the court
Do I need to Re-Activate an Accelerated possession Claim?
Yes, section 8 or section 21 still serve a notice to re-activate on the possession claim, send it to the court and a copy to the tenant too. You must also provide the court with a certificate of service too.
What are all the documents I need to send to re-activate a possession claim?
It’s best not to take any chances and adopt a belt & braces approach, you simply cannot afford to take any chances.
So this is what you ought to do:
Send the court:
- Re-activation Notice (Court version)
- send the tenant a re-activation notice (Tenant version)
- Send the court a completed or even an uncompleted*COVID-19 tenant means form
- Certificate of service
To the tenant you send:
- Re-activation Notice
- COVID-19 tenant means form
*Some tenants as some landlords know too well won’t communicate and the chances of getting the Covid-19 tenants means form completed and back is slim. So you ought to let the court have an uncompleted version and should the tenant return a completed version later, you can file that with the court too. You will note the covering letter does say “for the tenant” to send a copy to the court too.
Mr Sajjad Ahmad, the CEO of the British Landlord Association, said: “the more Notice a court & a tenant has that a landlord wishes to proceed with a possession claim the better. However, we would urge landlords and renters to try the resolve issues and avoid court action if possible.” He said.
UPDATE ( 2nd of August 2020)
Author: Amanda Goldsmith
Date: 27th of July 2020
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Disclaimer: the legislation and court procedures are changing rapidly, you must seek advice from a solicitor before using any of the forms. Members can ring the BLA helpline and you can speak to a lawyer directly.
The documents provided above are free for members and non-members and can be used freely. However, the British Landlords Association is a free national landlords association. Join us today for Free