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Here we go again - Labour renews call for another eviction ban

Labour has written to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick demanding the return of the eviction ban - even though, to all intents and purposes, evictions are impossible to actively pursue until mid-January at the earliest.

Labour’s shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire is calling on Jenrick for what she calls “clarity on the protections for renters and homeowners, as England heads into a second national lockdown.”

The government’s most recent ban on evictions ended on September 20 and a ban on repossessions ended on October 31.


However, bailiffs have agreed not to enforce evictions in areas of the country with high levels of Coronavirus - and that is all of England from today. And the government has already said that enforcement action will also be paused over Christmas - specifically between December 11 and January11 - except in ‘the most serious circumstances’, such as cases involving antisocial behaviour or domestic abuse. 

Debbonaire has nonetheless written to Jenrick asking for a reinstatement of the formal ban. 

Here is the full text of the letter:



Dear Robert,

As we head into a second lockdown on Thursday, it is essential that renters and homeowners have re-assurance that they will be safe in their homes.

Will you re-instate the evictions ban, as well as the ban on repossessions to protect home-owners, and come forward with a credible plan to keep your promise that no-one will lose their home due to coronavirus?

The Government clearly accepts the need for additional protections when additional public health measures are in place. During the first national lockdown you imposed a ban on evictions, and when the previous evictions ban was lifted in September, you set out that “evictions will not be enforced in local lockdown areas and there will be a truce on enforcement over Christmas.”

Now that England is heading for a second national lockdown, will you ensure that renters across the country are protected from eviction?

Although landlords must now give six months’ notice for most eviction cases, this will not help those at most immediate risk of eviction, who were issued with eviction notices before 29 August and whose cases will be the first to go through the courts this winter. No-one should suffer lockdown with harassment or anti-social behaviour from neighbours, but any exemption must be framed to prevent homelessness.

As well immediate protection from evictions, the Government must come forward with a credible long-term plan to ensure that no-one loses their home as result of Coronavirus. Many renters have struggled to keep up with payments, through no fault of their own. Shelter has estimated that 322 000 private renters have fallen into arrears as a result of the pandemic. Will you raise Local Housing Allowance to average rents, and bring forward a plan to address the arrears crisis which is putting hundreds of thousands of renters at risk of losing their home?

During the first national lockdown, the ban prevented many evictions but there was a worrying rise in illegal evictions. The charity Safer Renting has estimated that illegal evictions are up 60% since March. What steps are you taking to ensure that renters are not illegally evicted over winter, and have access to advice and support where it is needed?

The Prime Minister announced a second national lockdown on the very same day as the ban on repossessions came to an end. The Financial Conduct Authority’s extension of the 6-month mortgage deferral is welcome but may be insufficient to protect mortgage holders from lenders who are concerned about the long-term viability of the mortgage. The mortgage interest loan scheme is not available until 9 months have passed, by which time many home-owners may have been assessed as unable to pay by their lender and at risk of repossession. This further puts home-owners at risk of turning to more unscrupulous lenders.

Will you now clarify the position for those borrowers who have already taken a six-month mortgage holiday, re-start the ban on repossessions and update the Support for Mortgage Interest Scheme to ensure it provides adequate support to homeowners?

I look forward to an urgent response.

Best wishes, Thangam

  • Mark Wilson

    I wasn't sure on the title of this piece, maybe it should have read, 'kick 'em out into the street'. Bigger picture here required, we need to be very careful that civil unrest is controlled.

  • icon

    Same old (c)rap from Thangam and Mark.

    Landlords are entitled, for whatever reason, to have possession of their property. My property is on the market but not getting any offers because there is a tenant . I gave three months notice which expires late December so, that to the CONservative government bailiffs must not evict during that period. so it is pointless me even starting court action.

    It took me a long time to decide to sell, but once the decision was made I should be able to regain possession without all this hassle. I have made a number of offers to the tenant to ease the process of looking for a new home, but . . . no signs of movement.

    This lockdown is less severe than the first lockdown, viewings and house moves etc are still able to go ahead. They were not in the first lockdown. I just want to sell my house.


    Look at the next item where some agent has decided to try to rectify the problem you are faced with. Good luck on that one as they probably say they can flog anything anywhere. Then anyone can if it's cheap enough.

  • James B

    Same old vote chasing from Labour.


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