The High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA) has confirmed its support of the Housing Secretary’s recent announcement extending the ban on bailiff enforced commercial and residential evictions.

Under the new legislation, Residential tenants have been afforded additional protection with the previous six-month notice period and bailiff enforced eviction ban extended to 31 May.

Additionally, the ban on commercial evictions has been extended to 30 June to ensure businesses are supported as they reopen.

The Ministry of Justice has also increased the number of days of outstanding rent required for the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to be used to 457 days between 25 March and 23 June, and 554 days between 24 and 30 June.

The Government’s current position is to support commercial landlords and tenants to agree their own arrangements for paying rent debts by 30 June, assisted by a best practice framework and pilot mediation service.

Andrew Wilson, Chairman of the High Court Enforcement Officers Association, said: “Throughout these uncertain periods of national restrictions, High Court Enforcement Officers have continued to follow the evolving legislation and advice set out by the UK Government and Welsh Assembly at all times. We appreciate the challenges faced by businesses and individuals during this time and will be offering flexible and sensitive High Court enforcement activity following the latest letter of the law.

“The health and safety of our members and the general public is our highest priority. We have published a best practice COVID-19 plan to ensure an appropriate and sympathetic approach to enforcement and will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Housing and Ministry of Justice as guidelines change.”

High Court Enforcement Officers and their agents are able to continue to support UK businesses to collect unpaid debts in a number of ways. This includes:

  • Sending Notices of Enforcement advising people they have an unpaid debt that needs to be dealt with
  • Telephoning and making use of technology to discuss matters to avoid the need to visit premises
  • Visiting both commercial and residential premises whilst employing best practice social distancing and hygiene standards

The association updated its best practice COVID-19 plan, “A Flexible and Sympathetic Approach to Enforcement.”, in February 2021 to assist High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEO’s) and their representatives in providing safe and appropriate enforcement activity based on current legislation and guidelines.

More information on the Ministry of Housing’s announcement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/further-support-for-commercial-and-residential-tenants.

The High Court Enforcement Officers Association represents members across England and Wales, who received over 120,335 Writs in 2019 collecting just under £116m in outstanding judgment debt on behalf of creditors.

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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