• Government confirms residential evictions and enforcement at residential properties in England to resume from 31 May

Residential evictions in England and Wales

The Government has confirmed that it does not plan to extend the emergency legislation banning enforcement agents from carrying out evictions beyond its expiry date of 31 May in England. This will allow High Court Enforcement Officers and their representatives to enter homes to carry out evictions in England from 1 June onwards.

For Wales the moratorium is due to end on the 30 June 2021, subject to review by the Welsh Government.

Enforcement at residential properties

The Lord Chancellor has also lifted restrictions to allow Enforcement Agents to enter homes and take control of goods to cover outstanding debts from the same date in England and Wales.

The High Court Enforcement Officers Association has updated its Covid-19 best practice guidance to reflect the changes, and to assist members in practicing safe and responsible enforcement activities.

Alan J. Smith, Chair of the High Court Enforcement Officers Association, said: “Over the past year, the priority has rightly been dealing with the pandemic. This has meant, that landlords have, in the vast majority of cases, been unable to retake control of their properties and as a result a backlog is inevitably building up. We welcome the return of entry into residential properties to enable our members to support creditors and landlords in recovering their money and property which they currently can’t access through no fault of their own.

“Throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of the general public and our members and their enforcement agents has been our top priority. We have published a best practice Covid-19 plan to ensure a flexible and sympathetic approach to enforcement, and our members will continue to follow the letter and spirit of the current government legislation and guidance.”

The Association’s best practice Covid-19 plan, “A Flexible and Sympathetic Approach to Enforcement”,  sets out the principles, working practices and behaviours that all High Court Enforcement Officers and their representatives should follow throughout the different ongoing stages of the pandemic.

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