Coronavirus: repossessions are still on hold
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said that mortgage lenders must not start or continue court action for repossession until at least 31 October.
Although the courts start dealing with evictions again from 24 August, lenders still must not go to court to repossess your landlord or ask bailiffs to evict you.
What happens if your landlord is repossessed
The lender can apply for a repossession order from court if your landlord breaks their mortgage agreement.
This could be because:
- your landlord has mortgage arrears
- they've rented the property out without the lender's permission
The court could make a repossession order unless the landlord puts things right.
Tenancies that are binding on the lender
You can stay in your home if you have a binding tenancy. This means you become a tenant of the lender if the court makes a repossession order.
If you don't have a binding tenancy
You can be evicted by court bailiffs once the date on the possession order has passed. But you can still ask the court to delay the process for up to 2 months.
How you find out about an eviction
Your landlord’s mortgage lender must send a letter to the property addressed to ‘the occupiers’ when they get a date for the court hearing.
They must send a second notice if they apply for a bailiffs warrant. The earliest an eviction can take place is 14 days after this notice.
How to delay an eviction
You can ask for a delay either:
- at the hearing
- after the hearing
If you're granted a delay at the hearing, you can't ask again at a later date.
The court might order you to pay rent to the lender instead of the landlord until you move out.
At the court hearing
You can go to the hearing and ask the judge to delay the date for possession for up to 2 months. This gives you extra time to find somewhere else to live.
You won’t need to be named on the court paperwork to do this, but you’ll need proof of your tenancy such as your tenancy agreement or proof of your rent payments.
After the court hearing
You need to write to your landlord’s lender to ask them to delay the eviction. Include a copy of your tenancy agreement.
Here's an example of what you should write:
Re: [Your name and address]
I am writing to inform you that I have held an assured shorthold tenancy at the above address since [tenancy start date]. I enclose a copy of my tenancy agreement.
You have issued possession proceedings against the owner of the property who is my landlord. I understand that you have obtained a possession order and have applied to enforce this.
As a result, I am/myself and my family are due to be evicted on [date of eviction warrant]
Now it has been brought to your attention that the property is tenanted, I kindly ask that you provide me with a written undertaking confirming:
- You will withdraw the warrant of possession
- You will not take further enforcement action for a period of two months
Allowing me a further two months in the property will give me time to find other accommodation and raise the funds to secure it.
Please respond no later than [DD/MM/YY]. If no response is received or you refuse to provide a written undertaking I will apply to the Court to suspend the warrant of possession for two months.
If the lender refuses or doesn’t respond
You can ask the court to delay the eviction for up to 2 months if you haven't already done this at the hearing.
Use court form N244 to ask for a delay. Return it to the court. The address will be on the notice you got from the landlord's lender.
The court usually arranges a short hearing to decide whether or not to delay the eviction. The court informs the lender and your landlord of the hearing date.
Eviction by bailiffs
You don't have to wait for an eviction by bailiffs to happen if you have somewhere else to move to.
You can ask the council for help if you're facing homelessness because of the eviction.
You shouldn't be charged for the costs of eviction as this will usually be added to your landlord's debt.
Last updated 13 August 2020 | © Shelter
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