Breaking News: Practice Direction 55C Re-Extended

On the 20th July 2021, the 133rd Practice Direction Update to the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) has re-extended the validity of Practice Direction 55C to the end of November 2021.

An apparent typographical error has crept into the 133rd Update, which has amended paragraph 1.1 of PD 55C, to change the expiry date of 30 July 2021 – that date itself already extended from the previous expiry date of 28 March 2021 – to now state, “30 November 2020”. This is presumed to be an error and it is believed that the text should instead refer to “30 November 2021”.

This interpretation gains support from the summary on the Judiciary website regarding the PD Update, which also provides a round-up of changes to the CPR as well as the Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) Rules 2021.

The further 4-month extension means that the ‘interim period’, during which PD 55C has applied, has run from 20 September 2020 to 30 November 2021 – a period of more than 14 months. The PD places additional obligations on mortgagees and/or landlords, and disapplies the requirement for the court to list a possession hearing within 8 weeks of a claim being issued.

Another pertinent change to the CPR, which is due to take effect from 7 August 2021, is the new requirement within CPR r.83.8A(2), for there to be a further notice of eviction delivered to premises at least 7 days prior to a re-arranged/rescheduled eviction date, if full execution of the writ or warrant did not take place on the original date. The notice must follow Form N54 (PD 83 paragraph 6).

This augments the requirement to initially provide 14 days’ notice of eviction, which was imposed by CPR 83.8A as it currently reads, which has been in force since 20 September 2020. The additional requirement is applicable to any evictions which did not take place on their originally scheduled date, such as where the warrant/writ of possession was suspended.

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