Housing Law Practice and Procedure in the COVID-19 Era

Speaker: Karen Reid
Chambers: The 36 Group

Landlord and Tenant Obligations
• Contractual and statutory obligations are unaffected
• Rent
• Deposit Protection Schemes
• Gas Safety Inspections
• Repair Obligations

Assistance with Paying Rent
• Increase in Local Housing Allowance
• 30% of the market rents in the local area.
• New LHA rates can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-housing-allowance-lha-rates-applicable-from-april-2020-to-march-2021
• Discretionary Housing Payments
• Other funding available to Local Authorities
• Extension of the Pre-Action Protocol for Possession Claims by Social Landlords

Evictions
• Evictions from social and private accommodation suspended.
• Coronavirus Act 2020
• Section 81
• Schedule 29
• 26th March 2020-30th September 2020
• Applies to notices seeking possession, notices to quit and section 21 notices.
Possession Proceedings
• Practice Direction 51Z
• Imposes a stay from 27th March 2020 until 25th June 2020.
• Part 55
• Amended by the Master of the Rolls on 17th April 2020.
• Notices issued pre-26th March are unaffected.
• New possession claims can still be issued.
• Existing possession orders.
• PD 51Z in the Court of Appeal -Arkin v Marshall

Homelessness
• Suspension of evictions from NASS accommodation.
• Local Authorities urged to accommodate rough sleepers.
• New Lettings can go ahead.
The Courts
• Many court and tribunal buildings remain open.
• Remote hearings should be used where possible.
• Practice Directions 51Y and 51ZA.
• CPR 3.8
• Extensions of time
• The impact of the pandemic
• Homelessness Appeals
• Adjournment applications

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