A property lawyer has said landlords do still have the opportunity to remove tenants in certain circumstances, despite the Government’s recent decision to extend a ban on bailiff evictions and the forfeiture of commercial leases.

Property litigation expert Sarah Woolnough, an Associate with law firm Furley Page ,(pictured above) said: “During the Covid 19 pandemic, the Government has been quick to introduce legislation and regulations to protect both commercial and residential tenants from being evicted when, often through no fault of their own, they have accumulated rent arrears.

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“This has created challenges for commercial and residential landlords, many of whom who have also suffered financially. In fact, landlords can still issue notices to seek possession in residential cases and can still take Court proceedings to get a possession order, it is just going to take longer than usual to actually obtain possession if a bailiff eviction is required.

“Commercial landlords do also have a limited number of other avenues open to them if the tenant is not paying the rent. Forfeiture for reasons other than non-payment of rent is also permitted.”

The Government has said that bailiffs will not evict tenants unless there is a ‘serious reason’, such as if someone is living in the property illegally, in instances of antisocial behaviour, where false statements have been used to secure the tenancy, or if the tenant owes six or more months’ rent.

Sarah continued: “For commercial landlords the Government has announced that the restrictions on forfeiture for non-payment of rent arrears has been pushed back from 31 March 2021 to 30 June 2021.

“Meanwhile, Residential landlords are still going to have to issue notices to seek possession of their rental properties by giving tenants six months’ notice, while the current ban on bailiff evictions of residential tenants has been pushed back from 31 March 2021 to ‘at least’ 31 May 2021, which leaves the door open for further extensions.”

For property litigation advice, contact Sarah by email slw@furleypage.co.uk or telephone 01227 763939. You can also visit Furley Page’s website www.furleypage.co.uk or follow the firm on Twitter @furleypage and on LinkedIn. 

By Ed

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