Housing possession proceedings will not be suspended during the four-week lockdown that begins on Thursday, HM Courts & Tribunals Service has said.

The government suspended possession proceedings in March when the country first went into lockdown. The stay was lifted on 20 September.

New national restrictions for England will come into force on Thursday. HMCTS has already said that courts and tribunals will continue to operate within Covid-secure guidelines.

Today, at its annual public user event, HMCTS discussed how possession cases are being managed following the expiration of the stay and was asked if there will now be a further stay.

A HMCTS service manager told the event: ‘The restrictions announced at the weekend made clear that courts will remain open for business during this period. That includes possession work, issue of possession claims and case management. That will continue. There may be areas where judges might give directions on how cases will progress. Keep an eye on anything that comes from the court.’

The lord chancellor has asked the High Court Enforcement Association and Civil Enforcement Association not to enter residential properties while enhanced national restrictions are in place. ‘We have had agreement from [both associations] that their members will adhere to that request of the lord chancellor. As of Thursday there will be no evictions.’

Asked what the position on possession cases is in Wales, where a ‘firebreak’ lockdown will end on 9 November, HMCTS said it was waiting for the Welsh Government’s regulations on what is permissible in relation to social gatherings.


*The Law Society is keeping the coronavirus situation under review and monitoring the advice it receives from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Public Health England.