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MHCLG halts all ongoing housing possession claims

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has halted all ongoing housing possession claims due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision was made by the Master of the Rolls, England’s second most senior judge, and means evictions can no longer go legally ahead for the time being.

The MHCLG said in a statement: “From 27 March 2020 following a decision by the master of the rolls with the Lord Chancellors agreement, the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in the or any about to go in the system can progress to the stage where someone could be evicted.

“This suspension of housing possessions action will initially last for 90 days, but this can be extended if needed.

“This measure will protect all private and social renters, as well as those with mortgages and those with licenses covered by the Protection from Eviction Act 1977. This will apply to both England and Wales.”

The statement goes on to state that tenants are still liable for their rent and should continue payment as usual, with support available to those who find themselves in financial hardship.

David Cox, chief executive at ARLA Propertymark, said: “However difficult it may be, this is the right decision in light of the current circumstances.

“Yet evictions will not be required if we can keep the rent flowing.

“The latest advice is that people stay put, and as long as the government helps tenants pay their rent, there will not be a large build-up of debt from rent arrears, meaning there will be no logical reason why a landlord would start eviction proceedings.”

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