The Citizens Advice charity is the latest organisation to call for more help for private tenants following what appears to be a U-turn by government on eviction policy.
As we reported earlier this week, a three month outright eviction ban pledged to renters by government spokespeople last week appears to have been watered down in the Coronavirus Emergency Bill passed by Parliament on Monday.
Last week, the government pledged to introduce a 'complete ban on evictions and additional protections for renters' affected by coronavirus. However, the Coronavirus Bill merely extends the notice required for possession from two months to three.
Now Dame Gillian Guy, the chief executive of Citizens Advice, says: "Last week, the Housing Secretary pledged 'no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home'. These measures fall woefully short of that promise.
"Simply extending notice periods to three months cannot be seen as 'job done'. It means that people dealing with unimaginable financial uncertainty still face the prospect of being served with an eviction notice.
"Over the coming days, the government must keep their promise and add to these changes to make sure no one loses the roof over their head as a result of coronavirus.”
Citizens Advice claims that government figures show 18,860 households have lost their homes in the past year due to rent arrears.
Some 44 per cent of those were due to a reduction in employment income, or a change in personal circumstances.