The Master of the Rolls has announced that the Overall Arrangements for Possession Proceedings which were brought in for the reopening of the court system in September 2020 are now at an end as of 1 November 2021.
The statement was first published on 3 November but then quickly disappeared, which indicated there may have been some delay. However, the statement reappeared on 4 November 2021.
The ‘Overall Arrangements’ were the rules that introduced a reactivation notice where a claim for possession had been filed with the courts before 3 August 2020 and had been stayed.
In addition, the arrangements provided the courts with guidance on how cases should be prioritised for listing, including the holding of a review (usually by telephone) before any substantive hearing.
The overall arrangements also introduced the pre action plan urging landlords to try to negotiate with tenants and that issuing of a notice should be a last resort.
Finally, the arrangements contained guidance to bailiffs about repossessing property during the pandemic.
As mentioned, all of these above have now ended.
We have updated our possession wizard with the removal of the question about compliance with the pre-action plan.
Despite the overall arrangements having now ended, Practice Direction 55C remains in force, which requires for instance, a notice setting out what knowledge the landlord has as to the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the tenant(s) and their dependants when filing court papers and before any hearing.