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12 November, 2020 Open access

New possession actions remained at unprecedented low levels in three months to September 2020

However, new MoJ figures show that significant volumes of ‘reactivation notices’ are now being received by courts

New Ministry of Justice (MoJ) statistics have confirmed that the numbers of new possession actions in England and Wales remained at unprecedented low levels in the three months to September 2020.

In Mortgage and landlord possession statistics: July to September 2020, published today, the MoJ highlights that, as a result of coronavirus and associated actions, all landlord and mortgage possession actions dropped significantly in the quarter to the end of September 2020, continuing the low numbers recorded in the previous quarter that corresponded to the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key figures for the period include that -

In addition, the MoJ considers the impact of the end of the stay on possession actions on 20 September 2020, noting that -

‘… significant volumes of reactivation notices pertaining to previously stayed possession claims are now being received by the courts. For example, from 20 September, when the complete cessation of repossession actions ended, to the 30 September, 1,513 such reactivations were received - most of the volume (78 per cent) made up of accelerated and private landlords. It is expected that these reactivations will continue to make up a proportion of possession actions as new claim volumes rise.'

NB - guidance on listing arrangement after the lifting of the stay from the Master of the Rolls issued in September 2020 provides that claims brought before 3 August 2020 will not be listed, relisted or referred to a judge until a 'reactivation notice' is served by either the defendant or the claimant confirming that they wish the case to proceed.

For more information, see Mortgage and Landlord Possession statistics: July to September 2020 from gov.uk