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Total ban on evictions for three months, with blessing of trade groups

The government has announced a complete ban on evictions in the private and social sectors for any tenant affected by the Coronavirus outbreak - and it’s been done with the blessing of trade groups.

A statement from the government last night said that emergency legislation would be taken forward “as an urgent priority” so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period. 

“As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction” says the statement, from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.


The government says that the three month mortgage payment holiday announced earlier this week for owner occupiers would be extended “to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus.” 

However, then the onus is left very much with landlords - and presumably agents - to work out what happens next.

The MHCLG says: “At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.”

The government will also issue guidance which asks landlords to show compassion and to allow tenants who are affected by this to remain in their homes wherever possible. 

“This important step on buy to let mortgages ensures parity of support, further to the announcement … that the government made for private mortgage holders. We are also announcing that those who have benefited from a government backed Help to Buy equity loan will be offered interest payment holidays if they are struggling to pay due to coronavirus” the MHCLG statement continues.  

David Cox, ARLA's chief executive, says: “We are very conscious of the plight of tenants in these difficult times and appreciate any government action to help those affected by the current situation. Letting agencies rely on rental payments and therefore government must help to ensure agents can maintain their current service levels during any period where rent is not being paid. Specifically, we are calling on government to extend the retail discount on business rates to estate and letting agents.”

Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the brand new National Residential Landlords Association - the merged body from the old NLA and RLA - says: “Landlord groups welcomes government support. We recognise the exceptional circumstances and we will work collaboratively with government to ensure these measures protect both landlords and tenants.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick adds: “The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to Coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts. These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. 

“Which [sic] is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started. These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”

  • phil dillon

    So having been shafted by Tory Govts for 5 years we are now expected to take this on the nose without any financial assistance, BTL Mortgages holidays will not help and its even unlikely that lenders will fall in line, whereas I am sure large percentages of tenants will be taking advantage of the Rent holiday, which will probably never get repaid. If PRS LL are expected to support this we need some financial support from HMG and a change of approach from Govt. IE Reverse S24 and repay the tax, remove the addittional 10% CGT, remove the addittional 2% Stamp Duty.

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    My tenant instantly sublet to a family from the beginning of the AST in November. After getting rent paid in December and January (from an unknown bank account) I haven't had any more payments. The tenant says his identity was stolen through false documents and won't speak to me. The subletters won't speak to me either.
    Now the government wants to stop the eviction process because of coronavirus - what a joke.
    I have a family illegally living in my 2nd home not paying any rent, not paying any of the utilities since before all of this coronavirus hype. This is income I need now as it's my only source of income. Thanks Boris - you twat

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    Having owned and run letting agents for 20 years there will no doubt be a lot of tenants taking unfair advantage of this. For me currently and my partner rental income is my only source of income as my new business has been hit by the Corona Virus. Payment holidays on my BTLs I’m guessing wont be easy to organise and it doesn’t pay for repairs, service charges etc. Do the government ever consult real people who know the industry. Once again hard working people will suffer. Genuine landlords would never evict genuine tenants in my experience.

  • Sarah Doble

    Totally agree there will be people who take advantage of this situation. i hope the government are sensible to balance this situation. i feel for the landlords i really do.

  • Matthew Payne

    Any sensible tenants will choose to let the status quo remain and continue paying their rent. The chancers must realise that they will simply be evicted as soon as the 3 months is up, and they will struggle to get through referencing when they have to move? With rents rising fast as well, even if they find somewhere else they will have a higher rent to pay.

    I have still only heard of one business, Virgin Atlantic who have forced people to take an unpaid period. Of course some businesses may fail, which is a different matter, and landlords will need to understand from their tenants what their plans are medium term and come to some agreement that works fairly for both parties.

    I dont see the economic argument for all these tenants to suddenly fall on hard times, and a lot of headline grabbing scaremongering is going on. Why do all tenants suddenly work in the supply chain of an airline, a pub or a failing fashion business? Yes Laura Ashley may go out of business but that has been on the cards for years. Yes pubs, theatres and airlines and others social sectors may suffer short term, but there are parts of the economy benefitting from this virus, some booming in fact. If you work in IT or phamaceuticals for example, they are less concerned about what is going on and see opportunity not threat. What about all the tenants that work for Andrex, Boots or Sainsburys? Life is good! A friend of ours works in Waitrose head office and she said last night, they are absolutely smashing their sales numbers. Noone there is worried about paying their rent.

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    It only applies to coronavirus so doesn't prevent evictions for other reasons. Any agreement is subject to confirmation from their employer with regard to a change in circumstances. Chancers should easily be weeded out. Lets hope that not many need to take it up following the 80% announcement.


    It does…the Bailiffs have stopped. Entirely. For at least 3 months.


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