Amendments to CPR Part 55: what you need to know
25th February 2020
CPR 55.11 and 55.12 are being amended to remove Demoted Tenancies and oral tenancy agreement cases from falling within the scope of Accelerated Possession Proceedings. The standard form N5B is being amended accordingly and coincides with the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
The Pre-Action Protocol for Social Landlords in rent claims is being tidied up, and will cover the changes to accelerated possession proceedings. The Disrepair Pre-Action Protocol has been updated to reflect the Fitness for Habitation Act (only applicable in England).
CPR 55.11 is being changed so that it is apparent it does not apply to demoted assured shorthold tenancies. This involves the insertion, after “tenancy” in CPR 55.11(1)(a), of “other than a demoted assured shorthold tenancy”. CPR 55.11(1)(b) is being tidied up to reflect the changes to CPR 55.12 too.
With regards to CPR 55.12, that is being replaced by a new section albeit the changes are limited and most of the paragraph will return as before. The main changes are the date in CPR 55.12(1)(a), which is being changed so that the section applies to tenancies created after 28 February 1997 and not 15 January 1989. Further. CPR 55.12(1)(e) now states unequivocally that all the tenancies under which the Defendant has occupied the property were the subject of written agreements or came about pursuant to a statutory periodic tenancy under section 5 of the Housing Act 1988 (“the 1988 Act”). The current CPR 55.12(1)(f) is being omitted – the section currently states that the Accelerated Possession Procedure only applies where section 21 notices have been served – however this is unlikely to change anything as it is clear from CPR 55.11(1)(a) that the claim is brought under section 21 of the 1988 Act and will therefore still require section 21 notices.
The standard form N5B is being amended slightly to reflect the changes to CPR 55 and the Tenant Fees Act 2019. This will be issued in readiness for April 2020 when the changes to CPR 55 are due to take effect.
The Pre-Action Protocol for social landlords is, essentially, being tidied up with limited substantive amendments. It shall however include references to accelerated possession proceedings.
The Pre-Action Protocol for Disrepair is being updated to cover claims brought under section 9A of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 – the Landlord’s implied term as to fitness for human habitation. This however only applies to England (that was the scope of the Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act 2018) and therefore the pre-existing Protocol remains for Wales. A fuller review of the Protocol in general is expected to be completed in early 2020 however, and therefore the current versions are only intended as interim versions to reflect legislation until a full revision comes into effect.
These changes are not particularly extensive, however Landlords should be aware of the tightening of Accelerated Possession Proceedings and the new forms to be used when they come into effect in a few months. The wording in the new CPR 55.12(1)(e) does suggest that where the tenant had occupied under an oral tenancy agreement, but the position was then regularized with a written agreement, the Landlord could not use Part II of CPR 55.
The Pre-Action Protocols are largely unchanged, however Landlords and Tenants should be on the lookout for the updated Disrepair Protocol if and when it lands in the future. It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, are recommended.