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16 November, 2020 Open access

Stay on bailiff enforcement of eviction action reintroduced until 11 January 2021

New statutory instrument brings measures into force from 17 November 2020

New regulations have been issued that reintroduce a stay on bailiff enforcement of eviction action in England until 11 January 2021.

In force from 17 November 2020, the Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction and Taking Control of Goods) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.1290/2020) include provision, except in specified circumstances, to prevent a bailiff's attendance at a dwelling house for the purpose of executing a writ or warrant of possession, executing a writ or warrant of restitution or delivering a notice of eviction.

NB - the Lord Chancellor had recently asked bailiffs not to enforce evictions in areas subject to local lockdown regulations which place restrictions on gatherings in residential properties. Following the introduction of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local Covid-19 Alert Level) Regulations 2020, bailiffs were asked not to enforce evictions in areas designated as Local Alert Level High (2) or Local Alert Level Very High (3).

The new measures restricting the enforcement of evictions are intended to remain in force until 11 January 2021 - recognising the restrictions imposed during the current national lockdown and the subsequent mid-winter holiday period - subject to approval of the instrument by a resolution of each House of Parliament within 28 days beginning with the day on which it was made (13 November 2020).

However, enforcement of evictions will continue to be allowed in specified cases, where the court is satisfied that -

NB - the regulations also introduce a nationwide prohibition on bailiffs taking control of goods inside residential properties until the expiry of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No.4) Regulations 2020 (that provide for the current lockdown in England that is due to run until 2 December 2020).

SI.No.1290/2020 is available from legislation.gov.uk