Coronavirus (COVID-19) – implications for property

The following Property practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the implications for commercial and residential property of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It covers:

• Possession claims
• Cases started before 3 August 2020
• Cases started on or after 3 August 2020
• Claims where no hearing has been listed
• Evictions - truces
• Residential tenancies - protection from eviction in England and Wales - CA 2020, s 81 and Sch 29
• Coronavirus Act 2020 - restrictions on forfeiture, power to issue directions re events and gatherings etc
• Commercial tenancies - restrictions on forfeiture for non-payment of rent in England and Wales - CA 2020, s 82
• Powers to issue directions relating to events, gatherings and premises - CA 2020, s 52 and Sch 22

This Practice Note introduces the key implications that property practitioners should consider in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, including the protections to assist tenants during this period introduced by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (CA 2020), the compulsory closure of premises and the impact on commercial leases, residential conveyancing, and the real estate finance market.

It also covers execution issues in property transactions, business rates, the impact on HM Land Registry, the stay of possession proceedings brought under CPR 55 and procedure following its end, guidance notes that have been issued about the operation of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (FTT) and the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) (UT) during the coronavirus outbreak, the impact of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (CIGA 2020) and key changes relating to planning and tax that are relevant to property practitioners.

The situation is rapidly evolving and this Practice Note is intended as a quick reference guide. It also directs users to helpful content and further news analysis and practical guidance.

Possession claims
Proceedings for possession brought under CPR 55 (in relation to both commercial and residential property), and all proceedings seeking to enforce an order for possession by a warrant or writ of possession (with some exceptions), were stayed from 27 March 2020 to 20 September 2020 (although see below under the heading ‘Evictions—winter truce and local lockdowns’).

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