Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced on Friday (21 August 2020) that the stay on evictions will continue for a further 4 weeks, taking the total stay to 6 months.
Practice Direction 51Z stays most proceedings for possession brought under CPR 55, which includes both residential and commercial premises. This means it is still possible, for example, to obtain injunctive relief against trespassers.
The Coronavirus Act 2020 contains express protection for business tenancies that restrict the landlord's ability to forfeit a lease, up to 30 September 2020, in relation to non-payment of rent. The landlord is not prevented from enforcing a right of re-entry for a breach of other covenants. However, where the landlord has to issue proceedings for forfeiture of the lease pursuant to CPR 55, the proceedings will be stayed until the ban is lifted.
These are unprecedented times and it is evident that the government will continue to take action where necessary. Landlords and tenants should be taking advice on any decisions in relation to tenancies, and having open discussions. Any changes should be formally documented to ensure there is no dispute further down the line.
The ban on evictions extended for another 4 weeks and new 6 month notice periods to be in place until at least 31 March 2021.