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The Helios, 101 Wood Lane, Television Centre, White City, London, W12
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Covid-19 Rules and Regulations
The courts in England and Wales reopened on 23rd August 2020 for all possession claims. It is unclear there will be a prioritisation of cases and if notice periods will revert back to the original time frames but here is what we know.
England and Wales
The Civil Procedure (Amendment No 2) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020, were bought into force on 25 June 2020. The 25 June is when the Government were hoping to open the courts for possession hearings. Though may restrictions began to ease, the courts remained closed until 23 August 2020. These regulations provide a temporary rule for possession proceedings and enforcement proceedings by way of writ or warrant for possession issued before 22 August 2020 are stayed.
To coincide with the courts opening on 23 August further rules were made through The Civil Procedure (Amendment No 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 and Practice Direction 55c Coronavirus: Temporary Provision in relation to possession proceedings.
Here are two different claims a “stayed claim” and a “new claim”. A stayed claim is a claim that was made on or before 22 August including an appeal from a decision for a claim. Any stayed claim on or before the 3 August needs a “reactivation notice”. Claims after 3 August and claims where judgement has been awarded do not. A £reactivation notice” must be served by 4pm on 29 January 2021 or the case will be stayed.
A new claim is any possession claim that has been made to the courts after 22 August.
If a claim included non-payment of rent, and independent of it a reactivation notice is required the landlord will need to supply the tenant and the court with up to two years’ rent payment information and all claims need any information about how the coronavirus has affected the tenant.
This amendment also suspends the standard period between issue of a claim form and a hearing. Normally claims should be heard within 8 weeks of the claim being issued. The 8 week period has simply been removed giving judges wide case management powers. These rules will stay in place until 28 March 2021.
From the 24 july, as stated in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020, a face mask must be worn when entering a “shop”. The interpretation of “shop” is any building, room or other indoor establishment which is open to the public in whole or part and used wholly or mainly for the purpose of retail sale or hire goods or services.
It is important to understand that this is to protect staff in the shop, who meet and serve hundreds of customers a day. However, the staff are not legally required to wear a face covering though it is recommended.
As the premises from which agents work qualifies as a “shop”. Any of the agent’s clients or customers must wear a mask whilst visiting the office (the usual exemption applying). Walk in visits should be avoided and visits are required by pre-arranged appointment.
This newsletter is produced by the TFP.
Coronavirus Act 2020 update
The Government announced new Regulations that came into force on Saturday 29th August 2020. The guidance outlines changes to the notice period you have to give when serving either a section 21 or a section 8 notice. The changes are set to be in place until 31st March 2021 which effectively extends the Coronavirus act 2020.
Landlords must now give six months’ notice when serving a section 21 notice. This supersedes any Break Clause in the Tenancy Agreement. Section 21 notices used to expire after 6 months, this has now been amended to reflect the extended notice period and will now remain valid for 10 months from the date it is served.
The amendments are not retrospective and so do not apply to notices served before that date.
A section 8 notice must also give a notice period of six months, however if the rent arrears exceed six months rental payments, the notice period will be reduced to four weeks.
Other exceptions that apply are:
- In cases of domestic abuse – two to four weeks notice
- Antisocial behaviour – four weeks notice
- Breach of immigration rules “Right to Rent” – 12 weeks notice
- False statements – two to four weeks notice
- Over six months accumulated rent arrears – four weeks notice
In addition, new court rules have been agreed, which will come into force on 20th September 2020, meaning Landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenants circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the office on 020 7589 8122.
Since the country has been awakened from the lockdown imposed by the Government to protect us from each other, the NHS and the vulnerable, all kinds of unforeseen changes have come about: people have realised that they do not necessarily need to work from offices or retail shops, pollution has been at an all time low and unnecessary travel has been put on hold.
We have new protocols in place for the safety of our landlords, tenants, applicants and staff. Do visit our website for our latest COVID-19 information updates.
This week we have been busy with the demand for the past few weeks of lockdown. We have had many virtual tours followed by viewings in person. All applicants and tenants have been great at putting COVID measures into practice.
Ria our head of lettings has said:
We’ve had a plethora of new properties to market as well as enquiries from applicants. Many applicants wish to see properties via virtual tours but still wish to follow up with real viewings.
For this we have put all safety measures in place and we carry hand sanitiser, wipes and gloves and we are of course also wearing masks during viewings. If the properties are still occupied we ask that the current tenants leave the property just before the viewing takes place and we make sure that we wipe door knobs etc as we leave the property.
Alexander head of sales reports :
Throughout all of this, the property market has of course suffered. However, interestingly the prime areas of Central London are still proving to be attractive as the market reopens with many foreign buyers coming from all over the world, looking to find a London home here as it is still seen as one of the best and most civilised locations anywhere.
So while the pound is weak and the cost of borrowing at an all time low there are bargains to be had. It is a buyers market of course, but for sellers looking to relocate the old adage of “sell high, buy high or sell low and buy low” still persists. We are seeing a fair amount of action in the market which is encouraging and we believe that life will return to normal in the not too distant future.
With over 40 years’ experience in the ever changing property market we are here to help with a reliable and personal service. So if you are thinking of renting, letting, buying or selling, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
"Beyond The Call of Duty"
"Malverns Are Top!"
Miss C - Tenant
"A Pleasure To Work With"
"Sad to be leaving!"
CK - Tenant
"Already planning the house warming!"
“You are simply the best agent a person can dream of…. you got me the property I wanted - in 1 single viewing and not even in your area.“
SD - Tenant
"A Very Good Experience"
“ Thank you for your kind words. It was indeed a pleasure to be a tenant of Malverns, I had a very good experience. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the next steps. “
R - Tenant
"Hard work pays off - Thank you"
"Simply the Best"
"Highest Quality Service"
“ Dear Malvina, please meet Ria, my wonder agent 😊 Ria is my go-to person whenever I or any of my friend need a home in London, she never fails to impress 😊 “
TT - Michaela
"Proactive & Professional"
“ Malverns have recently sold my Mother’s flat. They are very knowledgeable and with multiple contacts they were able to generate continuous viewings in this difficult market. Their proactive and professional approach paid dividends and I have no hesitation in recommending them “
"Fantastic Family Atmosphere"
“ Having known them for many years, the qualities I most like about Malverns are those of being an independent agency of long standing, in which the people who own and run the business sit together in the same office. I think this contributes to efficiency and a ‘family’ atmosphere; it also makes them more interested in doing a good job for clients than in making sales targets for a head office. They listen to what one wants, they do not put one under pressure to make decisions and they do not waste time on unsuitable proposals. As well as personal experiences, I have introduced friends for whom they have found suitable properties. Finally, I would be surprised to find an agent with better knowledge of Chelsea, Kensington, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, parts of London in which I have spent many years of my life. “
"Fantastic Customer Service"
“ I would like to thank you all for the fantastic customer service during this years, specially to Claire and her team who have been nothing short of great at all times. “