The latest COVID eviction rules (the memorably named “Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) Regulations 2021”) came into force last week extending the suspension of evictions for residential tenants. The regulations provide that no evictions can take place in England until 21 February 2021.

However, there are some exemptions to the ban on residential evictions in certain serious circumstances. These include cases involving trespassers, antisocial behaviour and “substantial rent arrears” (rent arrears of 6 months or more). When making an order for possession, the court should record whether the order falls within one of the exemptions.

In the previous bans on eviction, the substantial rent arrears exemption only applied where there were 9 months’ arrears on or before 23 March 2020. Such approach has caused many landlords to suffer considerable financial hardship, and so this loosening will be welcomed.

The Government has confirmed that this latest extension will be regularly reviewed as to whether further suspension of residential evictions is necessary.

If you are a landlord struggling with commercial or residential tenants not paying their rent, get in touch with our expert property litigation solicitors in Lymington, Hampshire.