Update from the Association on the latest position on the enforcement of Writs of Control, following the amendment to the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 and the Certification of Enforcement Agents Regulations 2014 through the Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020. This amendment is now in place and applies during the current coronavirus emergency period.

This amendment covers 4 specific areas and:-

  • prevent enforcement at residential premises and on highways while, due to the coronavirus pandemic, restrictions that prevent a person from leaving the place in which they live without a reasonable excuse are in place (“the restrictions” – see explanation below) (amendments to Regulations 10 and 23 of TCG 2013);
  • automatically extend, by 12 months, the period for taking control of goods in cases where this period is within one month of expiry, while the restrictions are in place (amendment to Regulation 9 of TCG 2013);
  • increase the minimum amount of net unpaid rent that must be outstanding before commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) may take place to an amount equivalent to 90 days’ rent, while protections from forfeiture for business tenancies are in place under the Coronavirus Act 2020 (amendment to Regulation 52 of TCG 2013); and
  • automatically extend, for a period of six months, enforcement agent certificates in cases where these are within three months of expiry, while the restrictions are in place (amendment to Regulation 7 of CEA 2014).

These measures are time-limited, and their effect is limited as set out above. For the three measures whose effect is related to “the restrictions”, this is defined in relation to the duration of the coronavirus ‘emergency period’ (as defined in regulation 6(1) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 or regulation 8(1) of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020).

High Court enforcement activity is being undertaken in an appropriate, flexible and sensitive manner that reflects the challenges we are all facing as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The Association has developed a best practice Covid-19 plan.

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