The government has revealed the dates of its so-called Christmas eviction truce.
Agents will not be able to instruct bailiffs to complete evictions between December 11 and January 11.
The dates were revealed by housing minister Chris Pincher in the Commons earlier this week, responding to a written question.
Pincher wrote: “In addition [to the Christmas dates] guidance will also be issued to bailiffs highlighting that they should not enforce possession orders in places where local public health restrictions have been introduced by government through legislation.”
This means there can be no evictions staged where there are local lockdowns – and at the moment the list includes parts of Leicester, Bolton, Greater Manchester and the North East, North West, West Midlands and West Yorkshire.
Pincher added in his response: “Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, landlords serving notice of their intention to seek possession between August 21 and 29 would have been required to give their tenants at least three months notice.
“Where possession cases do go to court, new court rules mean that landlords are now required to set out any information they are aware of in relation to how their tenant, or any dependant of their tenant, has been affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges have the ability to adjourn proceedings until such information is provided.”
In the early spring the Coronavirus Act extended the notice landlords had to issue from two months to three.
The eviction ban’s third and final extension – until last weekend – was accompanied by a new provision requiring agents and landlords to give tenants a six-month notice period, meaning that no tenant would find themselves evicted before March next year.
The exception to this would be for tenants who had not paid rent for more than six months, and “the most egregious cases” cited by the government, such as anti-social behaviour.