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Labour wants no evictions for arrears run up during crisis

Labour says the government should ban evictions for people who fall behind on their rent due to Coronavirus.

John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, is publishing draft legislation which Labour is urging the government to adopt immediately.

The new law would mean any non-payment of rent due to Coronavirus would not count as legal grounds for eviction. 


The party claims it would cover over 20m people – eight and a half million households – who rent their homes from private, council or housing association landlords, including three million households with children.

A statement from the party says: “The move would bar landlords from evicting tenants who are off work and not getting paid due to Coronavirus, by changing the legal basis on which landlords can seize possession of a rented property to exclude arrears which have built up due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.”

It would initially cover any arrears that accumulate between March 1 and September 1 “with the option to be extended as necessary.”

Labour says two thirds of private renters and more than eight in 10 social renters have no savings, according to government data.

“The coronavirus pandemic requires a rapid response from the government to protect families” says Healey.

“Our current threadbare legal safety net means renters are vulnerable to eviction if they get ill and fall behind on their rent. The fear of being evicted may also mean workers are reluctant stay off work and self-isolate.

“Our emergency legislation would protect renters from eviction and we urge the government to work with us to adopt it and implement it at the earliest opportunity.

“This is an essential first step in public reassurance, giving people confidence they can follow official health advice in responding to coronavirus without putting their home at risk.”

  • Simon Shinerock

    Thank goodness these irresponsible ideologues didn’t achieve power, hopefully Boris will ignore there pleas and stand behind renters rather than throwing landlords under a bus


    Always easy passing the buck. Should be the Labour motto .

  • jeremy clarke

    For the future, it should be compulsory for tenants to take out protection insurance and for landlords to take rent and legal cover. At the moment the crazy tenant fee ban act prevents this, it should be amended to allow higher deposit and compulsory insurance. I am recommending all landlords cover themselves moving forward. If a tenant defaults on insurance cover then eviction should be possible to protect landlords.

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    • 18 March 2020 08:29 AM

    Whilst what you suggest would be a wonderful concept are you aware that rent defaulting tenants cause LL losses of about £9 billion per year!?

    Can't see many insurance underwriters wishing to have that sort of business.
    The current dysfunctional eviction process makes the insurance qualification process extremely onerous and justifiably so.
    I had a a successful RGI claim.
    Premium for a year

    RGI claim payout

    Not many insurers would be prepared to suffer £9 billion of losses every year.

    It is the dysfunctional eviction process that is the cause of the problems in the market.
    This is scheduled to become even more dysfunctional when S21 is abolished.

    No insurer in their right mind would cover most tenants who are mostly uncreditworthy

    But as a principle your suggestions would be ideal if achievable which they are NOT.........unfortunately!!

    jeremy clarke

    very achievable but would seriously limit tenant selection, they would need to be squeaky clean to be considered and if a claim was made I suspect that they would be blacklisted forever and therefore could not be considered as future tenants. The social housing sector would then have to step up to the mark pretty quickly or there would have to be a cast iron gov guarantee system in place to protect future landlords.

  • icon

    So the party with a 21% poll rating thinks they can influence the government? If my tenants stop paying will Labour pay me instead? It's about time they put a stop to silly party politics during times of crisis!

  • icon
    • 18 March 2020 11:02 AM


    Yes That is what I was getting at.
    RGI is wonderful for LL who can achieve it on their tenants.
    Trouble is as you intimate very few tenants can achieve such RGI qualification and therein lies the problem.

    No mug insurer will insure these type of tenants.
    The losses per claim can be many months of rent while eviction is processed.
    With S21 going that could take two years.
    In my case it would have bern a £24000 payout for a two year eviction.
    No way will the County Court system be able to cope with all the S8 evictions which used to be managed via S21.

    I'm afraid RGI is only for those rare tenants who are creditworthy and earn sufficient to meet RGI criteria.

    Such tenants if ever sourced should be hung onto by the LL for dear life!!!
    I'd even go so far as to suggest that a rent reduction should be applied if the tenant qualifies for RGI.

    Such a rare beast is worthwhile mollycoddling!!!

    I know RGI is a great method of not being that concerned about rent default.
    It is still a pain to claim on like any insurance really.
    But it leaves a very nice feeling to know the tenant effectively never ripped you off for rent.
    Mind you they might have trashed the place BUT the correct RGI policy will cover rent while the property is repaired.
    But for most LL RGI is a distant dream so dysfunctional are most tenants; i.e. they don't earn enough etc!

    I was hoping the Tenant Passport concept would gain traction but apparently there is some debate as to whether this would breach the TFA.

    I think 99home are working on the concept.
    It would be great for tenants and LL alike if a Tenant Referencing Passport was allowed paid for by the tenant.
    If it qualified the tenant for RGI then LL could specify only those tenants that qualify for RGI.
    That would give the better tenants first dibs.
    It might also encourage tenants to behave such that they might qualify for RGI.
    In an ideal world I would only consider tenants who qualify for RGI.
    Only ever found one in 10 years!!


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