The Law Society for England and Wales says legal aid should be made available for tenants who face eviction once the extended ban ends on August 23.
In a statement released in response to the extension, the society says the additional two months of the ban is ”an important step to protect vulnerable tenants during the uncertain time brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Simon Davis, president of the Law Society, says the move is “bringing relief to millions of tenants” and adds: “The government first brought in these measures on 26 March 2020, for an initial period of three months, but has now extended for an additional two months, so vulnerable tenants can get the help they need, and courts can continue to make the necessary arrangements.
“The government has also committed to passing new court rules that will protect vulnerable tenants from eviction once the stay has been lifted.
“When hearings recommence, it is vital that legal aid is available to tenants and that the safety of court users is ensured.”
The society points out that schedule 29 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 remains in force until the end of September.
Under this Act, landlords must provide tenants with a notice period of three months when issuing a notice seeking possession.
Tenants are still obliged to pay rent during this period. If they are unable to do so, the government encourages open and honest conversations between the landlord and tenant about the tenant’s ability to pay rent.