The courts will start to process eviction claims from private landlords from August 24, according to a government spokesman.

Lord Greenhalgh, the minister of state for housing, communities, and local government, revealed the date when answering a written question in The House of Lords from Baroness Altmann in Parliament.

She asked him to clarify the coronavirus eviction ban, which runs out on August 23.

The Baroness wanted to know what measures would be available to private landlords to repossess a rented home when the ban runs out.

“From 24 August 2020, the courts will begin to process possession cases again. This is an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property,” said Greenhalgh.

“Work is underway with the judiciary, legal representatives and the advice sector on arrangements, including new rules, to ensure that judges have all the information necessary to make just decisions and that the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”

Letting agents and lawyers fear hundreds of eviction cases are suspended due to the coronavirus ban on evicting tenants and that the courts may take a year to catch up with the backlog.

The Ministry of Justice calculates an eviction case was taking 24 weeks from application to repossession before the pandemic triggered the ban.

Trade body The Lettings Industry Council reckons that the court logjam involves around 2,500 cases, with 600 dating back to before the lockdown started.

Another letting agent trade body, ARLA, speculates the backlog could run to more than 60,000 cases.

David Cox, ARLA chief executive, said: “We’re pleased to hear that from August 24, the courts will re-open and begin processing the backlog of possession cases.

“We have previously expressed our concern to the government that there could be as many as 62,000 ‘business as usual’ landlord possession claims to be processed across England and Wales so having clarity on when these can be handled is extremely encouraging for landlords and the sector.