Residential Landlords Update: Extension for filing Reactivation Notice
As we are starting to see some progress made in the Courts with residential possession proceedings since the reopening of the Courts on 20 September 2020, we have been keeping an eye on any further updates in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and current lockdown measures. On 20 September 2020, Practice Direction 55C was introduced following the lifting of the stay of possession proceedings to provide residential Landlord and Tenants with guidance surrounding the resurrection of possession proceedings. In order to reactivate stayed claims (claims brought prior to 3 August 2020 where no final possession order had been made), parties were required to file a Reactivation Notice with the Courts.
For stayed claims where case management directions had been made prior to 20 September 2020, parties were also required to file and serve additional documents all aimed to assisting the courts get on top of the huge backlog of cases. This was then followed with a Review Hearing to consider how best to manage the claim as well as the impact of covid on the parties, pre-empting those arguments which, the court now faces the difficulty of balancing on both sides of the fence.
These measures were once again extended on Friday so that in claims that were subject to the stay prior to 3 August 2020, or in which case management directions had been made before 20 September 2020, a Reactivation Notice should be filed by 30 April 2021. If no reactivation notice has been filed by 4pm on 30 April 2020, the claim will automatically stayed (unless by then the period has been extended again).
In addition, the period in which the Practice Direction is in place has been extended from 28 March 2021 to 30 July 2021, though the reality is that the fallout from the pandemic on this kind of claim will inevitably last for much longer than that so no doubt additional measures will be put in place to manage this which we will continue to review.
You can download up to date versions of the Reactivation notice for Claimants and Defendants here - Property possession: information for claimants and defendants - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Our litigation team are on hand to deal with any queries from Landlords and Tenants regarding these changes. Please contact us should you have any questions or need any advice or assistance relating to a possession claim. We will provide further updates when possible.
Contact the team:
Helen Lyne, Executive Associate Solicitor, Litigaiton.
Hayley Bartram, Solicitor, Litigaiton.
Natalie Wilson, Legal Assistant, Litigaiton.