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Court possessions suspended

to let void periods

All court possession orders have been suspended with immediate effect.

This affects mortgage holders as well as private and social renters across England and Wales.

This will affect cases in the system as well as new cases for at least 90 days, though the timeframe may be extended.

A government statement said:  “Landlords will have to give all renters three months’ notice if they intend to seek possession (i.e. serve notice that they want to end the tenancy) – this means the landlord can’t apply to start the court process until after this period.

“This extended buffer period will apply in law until 30 September 2020 and both the end point, and the three-month notice period can be extended if needed.

“Tenants are still liable for their rent and should pay this as usual. If they face financial hardship and struggle to pay this, support is available.

“In the first instance they should speak to their landlord if they think they will have difficulty meeting a rental payment, and in this unique context we would encourage tenants and landlords to work together to put in place a rent payment scheme. However we have also put specific measures in place.”

David Cox, chief executive, ARLA Propertymark, said: “However difficult it may be, this is the right decision in light of the current circumstances.

“Yet evictions will not be required if we can keep the rent flowing.

“The latest advice is that people stay put, and as long as the government helps tenants pay their rent, there will not be a large build-up of debt from rent arrears, meaning there will be no logical reason why a landlord would start eviction proceedings.”