Evictions ban: Updated guidance relating to latest possession actions

The guidance issued relating to possession actions been updated to reflect the extension of the bailiff enforcement ban, which is currently in place until 31 May.

The updated guidance for landlords, letting agents and tenants explains the possession action process in the county courts.

It comes after the government announced an earlier extension to the ban in February, which was due to last until the end of March. The move means renters have had some form of protection from eviction for more than a year during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick recently commented: “We have taken unprecedented action to support both commercial and residential tenants throughout the pandemic – with a £280bn economic package to keep businesses running and people in jobs and able to meet their outgoings, such as rent.”

Some experts expect the taper of the ban to be implemented beyond the end of May.

The revised guidance can viewed here


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  1. LVW4

    I’m struggling to see how a tenant can be evicted, even if an order is made. It seems the tenant can simply request a suspension, with further attendant delay, and/or claim ‘something’ to do with covid e.g. ‘I’ve got symptoms!’, which cannot be confirmed by the court one way or another, but which is likely to result in yet further delay. Add to that the new ‘breathing space’, and the situation feels hopeless for landlords trying to recover their property… and their livelihood.

    Does anyone know what the landlord can do if a tenant goes to jail?

    1. A W

      “Does anyone know what the landlord can do if a tenant goes to jail?”

      Basically, nothing other than the norm i.e. Section 21 or Section 8 (if there are rent arrears and you can’t use a section 21 as it is mid-term).


      The law is built to protect tenants unfortunately and landlords and viewed as cash cows. There is very little balance as a tenant can, as you said, abuse the system to exacerbate the situation and the landlord in most instances will barely even be able to recover their costs. Tenants need protection yes, but the zealotry by which this has been achieve in recent years is to the detriment of landlords.

      1. mywayorthehiway

        That’s not how I’d do it faced with a tenant in prison. There would be a swift abandonment notice applied to the property and it would be the tenant that would have to put me through the legal process, as two weeks later the locks would be changed the belongings removed and the property re-let.

        1. paulgbar666

          Unfortunately for you that would be an offence under the Prevention of Eviction Act.


          The ONLY LEGAL way is through the formal eviction process.


          Once your prisoner is out of jail he is entitled to reoccupy.

          If something like a new occupant is there preventing such occupation then you the LL are liable for prosecution.

          Do rather than a tenant get a lodger with a 1 week NTQ lidger agreement.


          That way you can get rid of the lodger quickly to allow your prisoner tenant to reoccupy if the eviction process is still ongoing.


          It is highly likely that your con tenant will be out of prison before you have achieved eviction.


          By the way there is NO such thing as abandonment.

          Only a Warrant of Possession enforced by a bailiff may end a tenancy unless of course you can persuade your miscreant tenant to sign a Deed of Surrender which I doubt would be achievable.


          Though you could try and persuade him with a ‘goodwill gesture’!

          1. Ela

            This is untrue.  The prisoner doesn’t have an automatic right to be rehoused in same property. I gave worked with many ex prisoners and they are always having to be rehoused

        2. LVW4

          I had my Review last week (no tenant participation) and am waiting for a date for my Hearing (S.8 Rent Arrears – now 13 months!). However, I believe he may be facing prison in June. If he does, I could have a possession order by then or hopefully soon after, and I assume the onus is then on the tenant to counter it in some way when the court writes to him at his current address (not HMP Slade!). If he is likely to be ‘away’ for some time, I will feel entitled to attach an adandonement notice to the front door and post it inside, and then act accordingly if he doesn’t respond after 2 weeks. I won’t have his prison address and I assume he won’t have a Royal Mail re-direct, so I will package up his belongings and ask his ex-partner to who lives upstairs to take them and inform him of their location. This would avoid the need for a bailiff. I need some luck!

  2. Bashment77

    Although not a landlord , I am at a loss for desperate needed advice.  Where do I turn if I have been illegally evicted already.  Locks have been changed and all my belongings removed from property.  New tenants are in property already. No history of rent arrears or anti social behaviour.  No warnings or formal letter given. Please help. Urgently…

    1. paulgbar666

      You should go to Shelter.


      It would seem that you have been a victim of an illegal eviction.


      You must have a very strange LL that wishes to get rid of a good rent paying tenant!!

    2. ibibabes

      oh really,  you must have been a good tenant to have evicted illegally

      1. Ela

        Please stop inferring all tenants that are evicted illegally are deserving there are very much rogue landlords as there are rogue tenants , and if you are a genuine law adding landlord it should also be in your interest to try get rid of these rogue landlords aswell 

        1. ibibabes

          rogue landlord….lol. Take the Energy and be a landlord and then do the clean out, sometimes I just fathom how some human minds think, I guess it’s how the rogue tenants think and you know what, Do better 

  3. ibibabes

    As a landlord, I am so pissed, people not paying rent and still confused as to why getting evicted, like seriously . The feeling of entitlement.  We are still going to pay the Mortgage,  people are working but still feeling entitled to be living in someone’s house with no payments,  bye felicia

    1. Ela

      Do you know why it should be hard to just evict tenants?.. because this is housing property, something that should be a basic necessity has been turned into a business a commodity , everyone needs one to live yet its used to make money , if tenants could just be evictelook at the homeless figures now and then have that swing the other way there’d be more homeless than people with homes and yet an abundance of empty properties 

      1. paulgbar666

        You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried!


        You cannot force LL to provide free accommodation.

        If you attempt this by making repossession even more difficult than it already is then LL will just stop letting on single household AST.


        Housing IS a commodity.

        If you can’t afford because of the market being as it is TOUGH!!


        You have NO right to a rental property.

        It is in the gift of the private housing provider as to whether they might choose to let to you.


        You have no entitlement to a rental property no matter how much you might need it.

        It is for the State to house those who private housing providers don’t wish to let to.

        LL are NOT responsible for the housing market being as it is.


        MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION and insufficient house building along with the ridiculous RTB is largely responsible for the poor state of the housing market.


        We need a mass Council House building programme as that is the only way many could afford to rent.

        Britain is a low wage economy and simply cannot afford the current rental offer which is as a result of the market as it is.


        Nobody has the right to be housed where they want to be.


        There are in fact sufficient properties just not where people want to be.

        It is about time that those on waiting lists are housed anywhere there are suitable properties.

        No homeless person should have a choice of where a suitable property is.

        They should be assigned and if refused all Council housing assistance should be terminated.

        In the old days a few decades ago it was expected that a man and his single wage could support a house purchase and a family without the wife needing to work.


        Then came women’s lib.


        Now you need two wages to buy the same house.


        How liberating……………..NOT!!

      2. ibibabes

        Oh really, I was hyping and clapping for u, Give yourself a thumbs up,  now listen and take the advise along for yourself,  work hard and get a property, make sure you do the same when you have a tenant.  You are lucky there are rules to figure of speech Here,  better take that Energy to pay your bills instead of feeling entitled on another’s sweat

      3. LVW4

        How old are you? You do realise people have been letting properties… for profit… throughout history, don’t you? That includes social housing today, where the landlords are able to let properties in the most appalling condition, and aren’t prosecuted or vilified by Shelter or generation rent.

  4. LVW4

    I grew up in the very centre of London, and my work and all my friends and family were nearby. But when I started a family and moved out of my nice family home, I suddenly hit the real world, and found I did not qualify for a council property, and could not afford to rent somewhere as spacious and comfortable as I had been used to, in the area I wanted. My wife wasn’t working and my salary left very little for discretionary spending after paying my rent (yes, I actually paid it!). I didn’t have a car and we didn’t have holidays for 5 years. I finally decided we needed to move out of London if we wanted a better life, and put up with starting again, making new friends, new job… I got a new job and we bought our first home in Cambridge in ’86. Then got hit with 15% interest rates!! Some friends lost their homes because they had been allowed to over-extend, but it proved to be the best move I ever made.

    Our first flat was cold, damp, small, and inconvenient for 2 babies and a pram, but we got no help from our landlord and there was no Shelter banging on about our ‘rights’. Is it a coincidence that there is a rental housing shortage at a time when renters have so many ‘rights’ and landlords have none and are taxed into desperation?

    Lesson… you are not entitled to the life you want, and certainly not at someone else’s expense. If you want a better life, you will need to accept change and sacrifice until you you get what you want.


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