Eviction delays to continue after notice period restrictions end, says leading firm

A surge in evictions, continuing court restrictions and an existing backlog mean normal service will take some time to resume, says Landlord Action.


Letting agents and their landlords still face long waits to evict tenants after October 1st when notice periods return to normal following months of Covid-related restrictions, it has been claimed.

After this Friday, notice periods will be two months’ notice for Section 21 and two weeks for Section 8. Prior to this, landlords have had to provide proof of significant rent arrears in order to avoid a lengthy wait to serve notice, means there has been a shift in the type of notice landlords serve.

Landlord Action says since June, 65 per cent of notices served have been Section 8 (mostly relating to rent arrears) and 35 per cent have been Section 21, no fault notices.

The firm says it has seen a 43% year-on-year surge in eviction instructions over the past four months as restrictions have eased, but warns that the continuing requirement for landlords to attend review hearings, along with the backlog in cases waiting for court dates, are leading to delays, says founder Paul Shamplina.

Review hearings were introduced last year to help courts prioritise the most urgent evictions cases and determine which should proceed to a substantive hearing later on.
Despite the additional red tape, it was anticipated that in some cases a settlement might be reached at review hearing stage, which would prevent the case having to go to court.


evictionsBut Shamplina (pictured) says that, of approximately 400 review hearings, he is only aware of one case that has received a possession order straight after a review hearing.

Paul Sowerbutts, Landlord Action’s head of legal, adds: “We are dealing with a possession case involving £14,000 which was issued to Wandsworth County Court in May 2021 and the review hearing is only scheduled for October 2021, five months later.

“We expect it to progress to a substantive hearing which now will most likely not be until next year.  These delays will just continue to add to the debt owed by the tenant.

“In another case, which was due to be heard on Monday 6 September at Medway County Court, we were informed on Friday 3 September that due to a lack of judicial time, the hearing could not go ahead and there was no availability to move the case to another judge. We were asked for dates to avoid in the next 12 months suggesting that is how long it could be delayed for.”

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