Government To Assist Easing Backlog Of Eviction Cases With Nightingale Courts

It will be of no surprise that the massive backlog of eviction cases waiting to be re-applied for from the post Covid-19 period, is going to take many months to clear up and some within the sector are saying it could be a whole year before the mess is finally put to rest.

The government’s relative success with creating Nightingale Hospitals is now hopefully going to be ‘mirrored’ with the creation of Nightingale Courts to ease the pain on the judiciary.

So far there will be nine new courts which will be in Telford, Stevenage, Swansea, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Chichester, Fleetwood, Peterborough, and London.

Most of the courts will be ‘housed’ in conversions of former courts and or different type of council buildings used in other duties, will undergo an extreme makeover to be ‘morphed’ into modern day court offices.

A trade body says that the government has not stated if the new courts have specific areas to target, however it can be assumed that they will at least assist in clearing the backlog of eviction cases.

The government has also laid out measures to ease the pressure on the judicial system which includes, using video technology if appropriate as well as keeping courts open longer to deal with cases on a daily basis, and it will also plough in an extra £140 + million to modernise existing court buildings.

The government has already announced the new procedures for existing possession cases to be resumed from August 24th onwards:

• All applications for repossession orders made before August 3rd the claimants (agents or landlords) must send correspondence directly to the courts and defendant (tenants), that they wish to continue with proceedings. Failure to do this is in writing to both parties will not re-activate the case, so it will remain dormant.

• The agent or landlord must find out whether the tenant is vulnerable and/or having to shield themselves because of the coronavirus.

• The claimant must notarise the arrears in writing as being the main or one of the reasons for reactivation with all of the relevant information, and must be sent with the reactivation correspondence to the court, it will not be accepted in person at court.

• Lastly the court officers will be given extra flexibility over the timetable for proceedings so proper safety measures and social distancing procedures can be strictly adhered to.
All of the new regulations/processes will continue until March 28th 2021 unless an earlier review is called for.

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