Civil Procedure Update – 21st July 2020

Possession Proceedings

For any of our Clients who are Landlords or Tenants please be aware that :

Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 (21st July 2020) is coming into force on 23rd August 2020.

This follows The Civil Procedure (Amendment No.2) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020, which came into effect on 25th June 2020 and amended the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 Part 55 which provided for a stay of all possession proceedings brought under Part 55 and all enforcement proceedings by way of writ or warrant of possession which was to remain in force until 23 August 2020.

The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 provides for a further amendment to CPR Part 55 to introduce a new ‘temporary Practice Direction’ (Practice Direction 55C) for how claims under this Part (which includes appeals) are to proceed following the expiry of the stay provided for by rule 55.29.

The provisions relate partly to the resumption of proceedings following lifting of the stay and partly to new cases issued after the stay has ceased.

In consequence of the changes from 23rd August 2020:

  • A Claimant who wishes to continue the proceedings after the expiry of the stay is to provide a “reactivation notice” informing the court (and defendant) in writing of this (without which the case will remain dormant);
  • Where the claim includes non-payment of rent, that the particulars of claim set out what knowledge (if any) that party has as to the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Defendant and their dependants;
  • Automatic suspension of the standard period between issue of a claim form and hearing. (Which would usually be not more than eight weeks); and
  • Encourages a claimant to produce the full arrears history in advance rather than at the hearing.

These changes will remain in place until 21st March 2021.


Separately for our Clients seeking to enforce Judgement Orders by way of Writ of Control, please be aware that there are now Amendments to the Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (No. 2) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 amending regulations 10 and 23 of The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013.

​The amendments prescribe that the emergency period that applies to restrictions on the taking control of goods by enforcement agents will end on 23rd August 2020 in respect of residential addresses.

Provided no other amendments are made, the end of these restrictions will mean that enforcement visits to residential property can recommence from 24th August 2020.