Late on Friday afternoon, Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, tweeted
📢 BREAKING NEWS FOR RENTERS 📢
We are suspending evictions from social & private rented accommodation by a further two months.
Eviction hearings will not be heard in courts until the end of August and no-one will be evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.
— Robert Jenrick (@RobertJenrick) June 5, 2020
(Update – more on the announcement here)
I understand the details are as follows.
PD 51Z will be extended in its current form until 23 August 2020
The new rules will clarify that
Time does not run during the stay
Claims can still be issued during this time, and;
The stay does not apply to CPR 55.6 claims (against persons unknown) or for interim possession orders.
A working group on possession proceedings has been established by the Master of the Rolls to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place across the county courts when possession claims resume.
This is a blunt instrument to be sure, but the right thing to do. The county courts are simply not in a position to hear possession proceedings safely and justly, and the public health concerns over evictions that were part of the rationale for the original stay have not diminished significant.