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20 July, 2020 Open access

Further amendment of the Civil Procedure Rules to take effect from date the current stay on evictions is due to lifted

New legislation provides for amendment of the Rules in relation to possession proceedings from 23 August 2020

New legislation has been issued in England and Wales that, amongst other measures, provides for amendment of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) from 23 August 2020, the date that the current stay on evictions is due to be lifted.

Further to a 2019 consultation on changes to the Rules as they relate to the enforcement of possession orders, rules 6 and 16(1) and (2) of the new Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2020 (SI.No.747/2020) amend -

Paragraph 7.8 of the explanatory memorandum to the new legislation advises –

‘Possession - procedures for enforcement of possession of the High Court and County Court are now aligned. The changes provide for a fairness of approach by enforcement officers (whether in the High Court or the County Court) whereby a notice period be given by the enforcement officer to a tenant before eviction in private and social housing as well as commercial property/land. It also provides for the removal of the issue of a writ requiring judicial permission and procedure for transfer from the County Court to the High Court for the purpose of enforcement is more specifically regulated in the Rules. These amendments, which were developed and were the subject of consultation pre-Covid, become even more important post-Covid for an orderly return of possession cases and its enforcement process.’

NB - while most of the provisions in the new legislation will come into force on 1 October 2020, the coming into force of rules 6 and 16(1) and (2) has been expedited as part of the arrangements for managing the resumption of possession proceedings under Part 55 of the Rules following the expiration of the Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 2) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020, which extended for two months (to 23 August 2020) the stay on possession proceedings imposed by Practice Direction 51Z.

SI.No.747/2020 is available from legislation.gov.uk