Government extend coronavirus ban on evictions
The government announced on Friday 21st August, that the coronavirus ban on evictions would be extended by four weeks .
The announcement came just two days before the ban was due to end, having already been extended.
When will the coronavirus ban on evictions now end?
The ban on evictions will now end on Friday 20th September, having been extended at the eleventh hour from 24th August.
Has the notice period on evictions been extended?
Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary announced that, along with the extension of the ban on evictions that:
"I am also increasing protections for renters – 6 month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter."
He continued, adding:
"However, it is right that the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, begin to be heard in court again; and so when courts reopen, landlords will once again be able to progress these priority cases."
Why has the ban on evictions been extended?
The government made the announcement under increasing pressure from the opposition and pressure groups, amidst claims that more than 170,000 private tenants had been threatened with eviction by their landlord or letting agent. This, according to a survey from Shelter, the homelessness charity.
The survey also suggested that over 230,000 private tenants had fallen into arrears since the coronavirus outbreak.
Opposition leader Kier Starmer accused the Prime Minister of "having his head in the sand" on the issue. In a tweet he said:
"The government’s eleventh hour U-turn on the evictions ban was necessary - but such a brief extension risks offering only short-lived relief to tenants. The ban must not be lifted until the Government has a credible plan to ensure that no-one loses their home due to Covid."
What does the eviction ban extension mean for landlords?
Many landlords have taken a significant financial hit as a result of the ban on evictions, especially with the high numbers of tenants that have fallen into arrears.
An article on Landlord Today highlights that many buy to let landlords have "worked closely with tenants to support those in rent arrears as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, but ultimately, “it isn’t the responsibility of UK landlords to take this financial hit”."
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association on the extension to the ban on evictions:
"A blanket extension is unacceptable, especially so close to the deadline. This announcement satisfies no-one.
"Landlords have been left powerless in exercising their legal right to deal with significant arrears unrelated to Covid-19, anti-social behaviour and extremely disruptive tenants who make life miserable for their neighbours and housemates.
"Private landlords cannot be expected to foot the bill for Government failure."
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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Will Bartley is one of our bright lawyers in our specialist dispute resolution team. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, he has been keeping landlords and tenants up to date with changes in guidance and legislation.
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