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28 April, 2020 Open access

Preventing enforcement agents taking control of goods while coronavirus lockdown is in place

New statutory instrument

New regulations have been issued in England and Wales in relation to preventing enforcement agents taking control of goods in prescribed circumstances while the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown is in place.

In force from 25 April 2020, the Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.451/2020) amend the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 to -

The explanatory memorandum to the regulations highlights that -

'In response to the restrictions, which were put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the government believes it is necessary to amend the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 to prevent enforcement agents from taking control of goods from domestic premises or on the highway while the restrictions are in place. The government takes the view that it would be very difficult for enforcement agents to apply the social distancing requirements correctly in either scenario.' 

NB - the regulations also increase the minimum amount of net unpaid rent that must be outstanding before commercial rent arrears recovery may take place to an amount equivalent to 90 days’ rent, while protections from forfeiture for business tenancies are in place under the Coronavirus Act 2020;

SI.No.451/2020 is available from legislation.gov.uk