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Landlord Legal Issues - August 2020

Landlord & tenant lawyer, Tessa Shepperson of www.landlordlaw.co.uk answers your questions

Q. I started a claim for possession based on rent arrears back in early March but a hearing was never listed because the coronavirus pandemic caused a stay of possession claims in the courts. Will the court be getting in touch with me now as the stay is due to end on 23 August?

A. No. You need to contact the courts yourself (or your solicitors do). You must file at court and serve on your opponents a ‘Reactivation Notice’. This needs to:
- Confirm that you want the case to proceed, and
- Set out the knowledge you have as to the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the defendant and their dependents (if any)

If you don’t know how it has affected your tenants, you need to try to contact them and ask them. If they refuse to reply, just say in your notice that you have tried to contact the defendants, but they have refused to provide you with any information.

As your claim is based on rent arrears, you will also need to serve and file a schedule of rent arrears for the previous two years. If you don’t provide the reactivation notice and schedule of arrears, your case will just sit on the court files and nothing will be done about it.  

The rules about the special notices are set out in a temporary practice direction 55C, which can be found at www.judiciary.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2020/07/CPR-123rd-PD-Update-PD55C-SIGNED.pdf It will come into force on 23 August and will apply until 28 March 2021 unless extended.

Q. I am about to issue proceedings on the basis of rent arrears. Is there anything extra I need to do under the Coronavirus rules?

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