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The government has outlined new court procedures to address the expected backlog of cases when eviction proceedings resume on August 24.

For all applications made before August 3, the landlord or agent must notify both the court and defendant in writing that they wish to continue the case.

Without this reactivation notice cases started prior to August 3 will not resume.

Secondly, the landlord or agent should ascertain whether the tenant is shielding or is in some other way vulnerable to Coronavirus.

The landlord or agent must also itemise arrears in writing, ideally as part of the reactivation notice, if this is relevant to the eviction.

Finally the court officers are to have greater leeway over the timetable for proceedings to ensure social distancing and other safety measures can be ensured.

These processes will be in place until March 28 with an earlier review if circumstances change.

The National Residential Landlords Association has analysed the proposals and say there are two outstanding issues to be resolved.

“Although landlords will be required to provide any information they have about their tenant’s experience of coronavirus, there is no indication of how the courts will use the information” says the NRLA.

“Also there is no detail about how, or in what form a reactivation notice should be served. The NRLA is working to answer both of these points with the ministries of justice and housing respectively.”

We wonder how many private landlords will foul of this because of lack of insider knowledge because this certainly hasn’t had media air time! The government seem to be laying traps if you ask us. Luckily, we don’t mind sharing for the greater good.

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