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Housing secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the ban of Bailiff enforcement of eviction Orders in England has been extended until the end of May.
Will Bartley, Landlord & Tenant specialist, who has been following the developments in eviction law throughout the pandemic, breaks down the announcement and provides everything that you need to know.
LAST UPDATED: April 2021
When has the ban on evictions been extended to?
The ban on eviction enforcement by Bailiffs has been extended until 31st May 2021.
The extension announced in February was set to come to an end on 31 March. This latest extension means that enforcement of Bailiff eviction notices cannot be served until 31 May; for all but the most serious cases.
The first eviction ban was put in place back in March 2020, to protect renters after lockdown was first introduced. It continued for 6 months before the ban was briefly lifted in September, in order to 'clear the backlog' of eviction hearings.
The extension now means that the bailiff ban will have been in place for over a year.
Are 6 month eviction notice periods continuing?
Yes, landlords will continue to have to give tenants 6 months S21 notice before eviction; this will be extended until at least 31 May.
Update: From 1st June 2021 there are changes to s21 and s8 notice periods , you can read about these changes here.
Has the guidance for substantial rent arrears changed?
Yes, Possession Orders for tenants with 6 months or more rent arrears can now be enforced.
Has the ban on commercial evictions been extended?
Yes, the ban on commercial evictions has been extended to 30 June. This aligns with the Government's easing of covid restrictions and subsequent support of businesses as they reopen.
Why has the eviction ban been extended?
Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary, said that the aim of the extension is to "ensure that businesses and renters will continue to be supported" as we continue on the 'roadmap' out of lockdown.
He went on to say, “We have taken unprecedented action to support both commercial and residential tenants throughout the pandemic – with a £280 billion economic package to keep businesses running and people in jobs and able to meet their outgoings, such as rent."
Ben Beadle of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) welcomed the extension but suggested that the financial issues for renters and landlords are still a problem.
“If the chancellor wants to avoid causing a homelessness crisis, he must develop an urgent financial package including interest-free, government-guaranteed loans to help tenants in arrears to pay off rent debts built since March 2020."
A specialist landlord & tenant solicitors' view
"This further extension has no doubt been brought in to protect vulnerable tenants from eviction before vaccination targets have been met and social distancing measures have been relaxed. However that will be little comfort for landlords, some of whom have tenants with up to 6 months arrears which cannot be enforced until June 2021"
It would be surprising given the above if this extension is extended further, as the financial hardship to landlords and mounting debts of tenants cannot continue much longer."
Landlord & tenant solicitors in Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch and The New Forest
If you wish for us to assist you with eviction related enquiries, including drafting and issuing proceedings or eviction notices, please feel free to contact us on 01202 499255.
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