Bailiffs in Lockdown

11/11/2020

The Government has confirmed the details of the “Winter Truce” outlined in our article from September.

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland QC MP has now written to several associations representing certificated bailiffs and High Court enforcement officers.

Winter Truce

In the letter he requested that they not to carry out residential evictions anywhere in England and Wales from 11 December 2020 until 11 January 2021 except in line with the Government guidance published here. It is understood that all of the associations have agreed to the Lord Chancellor’s request.

All associations have also agreed not to evict residential tenants in areas that are classified as Tier 2 (high) or 3 (very high) under the government’s Local COVID Alert Level system in England.

Andrew Wilson, Chairman of the High Court Enforcement Officers Association, said: “This is in line with the interpretation of the guidance that our members had already taken, but it is very useful to have it confirmed in writing from the Lord Chancellor.”

This means that evictions will not be carried out:

  • 1.From 5th November 2020 until 2nd December 2020 as part of the national lockdown,
  • 2.from 11th December 2020 until 11th January 2021 (excepted in limited circumstances) as part of the Winter Truce; or
  • 3.at any time where the property is in an area classified as Tier 2 (high) or 3 (very high).

The national lockdown is due to end on 2nd December, therefore there will be a narrow nine-day window during which evictions could occur if the area where the property is located reverts to Tier 1 (medium).

The restriction on entering residential properties does not prevent enforcement agents from attending residential properties to enforce writs of control, provided that they do not enter the property and that they adhere to the government’s COVID-secure guidance for enforcement agents and any other national or local restrictions that may be in place.

More information

Pinney Talfourd are experts in residential property litigation and can advise you on changes to the law so you are given up to date advice.

Please do not hesitate to contact either Stephen Eccles by email or on 01708 463202 or Oliver-James Topping by email or on 01708 463227 should you wish to discuss anything further.

This article was written by Oliver-James Topping, Solicitor in the Residential Property Litigation at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of November 2020.

11/11/2020

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