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8 January, 2021 Open access

Extension of eviction ban in England to 21 February 2021

New statutory instrument

New regulations have been issued that provide for an extension of the ban on evictions in England in response to the ongoing threat to public health posed by the incidence and spread of Covid-19.

In force from 11 January 2021, the Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI.No.15/2021) prevent, except in specified circumstances, attendance at a dwelling house for the purpose of executing a writ or warrant of possession or delivering a notice of eviction.

The explanatory note to the new regulations outlines that the 'specified circumstances' are -

'... where the court is satisfied that the claim is against trespassers who are persons unknown or where it was made wholly or partly on the grounds of anti-social behaviour, nuisance, domestic abuse in social tenancies, false statements, substantial rent arrears exceeding 6 months’ rent or, in cases where the person attending is satisfied that the dwelling house is unoccupied at the time of attendance, death of the occupant.'

NB - in relation to the rent arrears exception to the ban, while the regulations that cover the period to 11 January 2021 define 'substantial' arrears as arrears at least equivalent to 9 months' rent (with unpaid rent arrears accrued after 23 March 2020 disregarded), the new regulations refer only to substantial arrears as being an amount at least equivalent to 6 months’ rent (with no reference to a disregard of arrears accrued since the March 2020 lockdown).

The regulations expire at the end of 21 February 2021.

SI.No.15/2021 is available from