COVID-19 and stay of possession proceedings – update

 

Following the issues raised by the PLA and PBA in a joint letter to the Master of the Rolls (click here to read the letter), Practice Direction 51Z – Stay of Possession Proceedings and Extension of Time Limits – Coronavirus was amended on 20 April 2020 to permit, amongst other things, claims to proceed against “persons unknown” (click here to read the Master of the Rolls’ response). Whilst this addressed significant concerns raised by PLA members, the PLA and PBA have now queried the distinction drawn between claims against “persons unknown” served in accordance with Rule 55.6, and other claims falling within the definition of “a possession claim against trespassers” in Rule 55.1(b). The PLA and PBA have written a further joint letter to the Master of the Rolls (click here to read the letter) suggesting that the stay could be lifted for all situations in which the Claimant alleges the land is occupied by a person or persons who entered the land without consent.