The Coronavirus Act 2020 (the “Act”) was given Royal Assent overnight on 25 March 2020 and deals with protection from eviction for residential tenants.
As detailed in our briefing note: “COVID-19 & the Stay on Possession Proceedings: An Update for Residential Landlords”, landlord’s seeking to reactivate ‘stayed claims’ brought before 3 August 2020 with no possession order made before 27 March 2020, were required to file and serve a written notice (a “Reactivation Notice”) by 29 January 2021.
If you are a landlord and have outstanding possession proceedings which were subject to the stay under Practice Direction 51Z and CPR 55.29 (‘the stay’), but have not yet applied to reactivate these, you are in luck. On Friday 29 January 2021, the new Practice Direction 55C (‘PD 55C’) which came into force on 23 August 2020 was amended to allow extra time to reactivate possession claims.
29 January 2021 was supposed to be the last date for filing a Reactivation Notice, failing which the claim would have been automatically stayed indefinitely requiring an application by form N244 to lift the stay (such application not being required to meet the requirements under CPR 3.9 for relief from sanctions). However, PD 55C, as amended on 29 January 2021, now extends the date for filing and serving a Reactivation Notice to 30 April 2021, giving residential Landlords some extra time to comply. Landlords should therefore ensure that they reactivate their stayed claims by this date, if you have not already done so (assuming that the date isn’t further extended).
If you miss this deadline, you will need to make an application to lift the stay as mentioned above. However, any application to lift the stay is not required to meet the requirements under CPR 3.9 for relief from sanctions.
In addition, Landlords will be aware that PD 55C was due to expire on 28 March 2021. However, in accordance with the amendments to PD 55C on 29 January 2021, the period of validity for PD 55C itself has been extended from 28 March 2021 to 30 July 2021.
See our briefing note: “COVID-19 & the Stay on Possession Proceedings: An Update for Residential Landlords” for further details of the requirements under PD 55C, including the form and content of a Reactivation Notice.
Correct at time of drafting
1 February 2021