As the end of the stay for possession proceedings approaches on 23 August 2020, the Civil Procedure Rules have been amended again by the Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4)(Coronavirus) Rules 2020 and the introduction of Practice Direction 55C.
This provides that Landlords must:-
- inform the court and the defendant in writing if they wish to resume stayed proceedings after the expiry of the stay in a “reactivation notice” supported by a rent statement for the previous 2 years (where the claim is based on arrears);
- provide any relevant information about the tenant’s circumstances to include information on the effect of the pandemic on the tenant and his/her dependants, which will enable the court to have regard to vulnerability, disability, and social security position, and those who are “shielding” – this must be provided in the particulars of claim, reactivation notice or for the hearing as appropriate.
Social Landlords should also provide a statement of their compliance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Social Landlords and (in all cases) state how they have complied and give details of their knowledge of the impact of the pandemic on the Defendant. That information is to be provided to the Defendant not less than 14 days prior to the hearing.
The amendment also suspends the standard period between issue of a claim form and hearing which usually would be not more than eight weeks, again to spread out hearings appropriately in particular having regard to court capacity and requires the Court to give parties 21 days’ notice of the listing of a hearing after service of a “reactivation notice”.
Further details here
If you need specific advice please speak to our housing team on 0800 088 6004 or email us.