The court can stop your eviction if your housing association has used a discretionary ground to evict you.
No evictions by bailiffs will take place between 17 November and 11 January except in very limited circumstances.
Evictions can go ahead where the court has made an order because:
- there was antisocial behaviour
- you owed more than 9 months' rent before 23 March 2020
The courts will continue to process cases during lockdown. You still need to read any letters from the court and attend the hearing if there is one.
When the court can stop the bailiffs
The court can only stop the bailiffs if:
- you ask them to or
- your housing association agrees to stop the eviction
The court can sometimes decide to stop the bailiffs if you can show that it is not reasonable to evict you.
For example, you may be able to show that:
- you can now repay rent arrears or pay your rent regularly
- a family member who was causing antisocial behaviour has left
The court can only stop the bailiffs if your landlord used discretionary grounds as their reasons to evict you.
Contact a Shelter adviser if you are not sure what grounds you're being evicted on
When the court can't stop the bailiffs
The court can't usually stop the bailiffs if your housing association is evicting you using mandatory grounds for possession such as:
- ground 8 for rent arrears
- ground 7A for antisocial behaviour (if someone in your home has been convicted of an antisocial behaviour offence)
The courts can't stop the bailiffs if you have sublet your whole home
How the courts stop or delay the bailiffs
The court sometimes holds a short hearing to decide whether to stop or delay the bailiffs.
Suspending the bailiffs' warrant
The court usually stops the bailiffs by suspending the bailiff's warrant.
The judge often sets conditions such as repaying rent arrears in installments. You risk eviction if you don't keep to these conditions.
The court can also decide to postpone the hearing for a short period while you try to put things right.
For example, before making a final decision, the court could allow you a month to sort out:
- housing benefit problems
- problems with antisocial behaviour in your household
If your housing association agrees you can stay
Your housing association may stop the eviction if you agree to terms such as repaying rent arrears.
Always confirm with the courts that your housing association has formally withdrawn the application for the bailiffs' warrant.
Apply to the courts to stop the bailiffs if the bailiffs' visit hasn't been cancelled.
How to ask the courts to stop the bailiffs
Use form N244 and guidance to apply to the courts to stop the bailiffs.
Last updated 18 November 2020 | © Shelter
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