Thursday 22nd July
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo weekly advice column, this week we focus on focus on the ending of the ban on evictions
In England, the ban on most bailiff-enforced evictions came to an end on the 31 May, with the notice period landlords need to give their tenants reducing from six to four months. Our Senior Housing Expert answers the most common questions from private tenants in England about the end of the ban on eviction proceedings
Can tenants be evicted immediately?
- No – for most private tenants, only those at the end of a long legal process will face imminent eviction. Then there is still 14 days’ notice before the final stage, which is the bailiffs attending.
- A landlord who carries out or threatens an eviction without following this process is likely to commit a criminal offence.
If a tenant is issued with a notice seeking possession by their landlord, what should they do?
- The first thing is to get some advice about whether the notice is valid, or any help that might be available.
- A landlord notice is step one – it doesn’t mean an eviction can go ahead. If the landlord doesn’t follow the process to the letter of the law tenants may be able to successfully fight an eviction.
- If that’s not possible, a court may make an order for possession. Only when the date set for possession by the court has passed, can the landlord apply for bailiffs to carry out an eviction.
- This stage is also an opportunity for both sides to sort out their differences.
What should tenants do if they’ve already received a notice that an eviction will be carried out by bailiffs?
- There were some circumstances in which evictions were allowed to take place while the ban was in place – including more than six months of rent arrears. But if you are being evicted due to one of these reasons, you will still get 14 days’ notice.
- Once again, seek advice. In some cases the local council will have a duty to provide alternative accommodation.
For further help and advice please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Watch out for our advice column next week when we focus on carrying out a financial healthcheck.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk