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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Activists make last-ditch bid to keep evictions ban indefinitely

Activists who praised the government for its eviction ban in recent months have now turned on it in a last-ditch attempt to secure another extension.

Last week junior housing minister Lord Greenhalgh announced that “from 24 August 2020, the courts will begin to process possession cases again. This is an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.”

This follows five months when evictions were effectively banned in a bid to ease housing issues at the time of the Coronavirus crisis.

The decision to end the ban has drawn fire from campaigners. 

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, claims: “Thousands off renters are already calling our emergency helpline terrified at the prospect of becoming homeless … Before parliament breaks for the summer the government must give judges the power to consider the impact of the pandemic when deciding if a renter should be evicted.”

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, a candidate for the party’s leadership, has branded the decision as “heartless” adding: “The idea that the government wants to restart evictions in the middle of a pandemic is unthinkable. This threatens a wave of homelessness in towns up and down the country.”

She says such a move will create “a toxic cocktail for the disease to thrive.” 

And Michael Deas from the London Renters Union says: “The government said no one should lose their home as a result of coronavirus. Now we know those were empty words. 

“Many renters haven’t been able to pay rent throughout lockdown. But when the courts reopen, our unfair housing laws mean that landlords will find it incredibly easy to evict those tenants. So if the government sticks to this decision, we could see thousands of people made homeless in September. 

“The combination of Covid-19, a broken housing system and a government that always backs landlords has saddled renters with unprecedented and unbearable levels of rent debt. Many tenants have no prospect of paying back their arrears - and that’s no surprise with unemployment rising, especially in hospitality. 

“This crisis isn’t going away, so neither should the evictions ban. Many landlords aren’t showing compassion, and they’re not going to start doing so now. The evictions ban must be made permanent.”

  • Ingrid Mott

    Eviction ban continuing ? Landlords are the only sector that has no aid from government to deal with: unruly tenants and cash shortages due to rent losses. Payment holidays must be repaid ... or the lenders WILL be able to take possession. Payment holidays are also frowned upon by lenders considering remortgage loans. Whilst landlords have very weak means to recoup rent losses, banks are very certain of their re-possession powers if mortgage debt is not repaid..
    Unruly, non-paying tenants should be aware that their "home" did not come free for their landlord.
    Food at M&S and Asda shops is not free. If you trash M&S you are jailed. Why are landlords forced to become charities ? Governments are responsible for curtailing homelessness. Governments need to take responsibility for paying rents (or at least 80% of rents) direct to landlords. This alone would avoid homelessness and repossessions by lenders.
    Being a majority , governments simply want tenants votes at the expense of landlords. But just look at the yobbish behaviour of the "gimmee gimmee gimmee" drug and booze bound generations on the news media every day in this crisis. Landlords MUST protect who???

  • Neil Moores

    Well put Ingrid

  • Mark Hulbert

    Agreed - well put Ingrid. "Why should landlords be forced to become charities?" - you've absolutely hit the nail on the head. It's as 'though landlords haven't suffered financially enough in the last few years! Fortunately the government does appear to recognise the importance of landlords being able to regain possession of their property.

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    "our unfair housing laws mean that landlords will find it incredibly easy to evict those tenants" Since when was it "incredibly easy" ??

  • Mark Wilson

    A very biased and unrealistic article.

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    And Michael Deas from the London Renters Union says: “The government said no one should lose their home as a result of coronavirus. Now we know those were empty words.

    “The combination of Covid-19, a broken housing system and a government that always backs landlords..."

    Where does this lot come from? Clearly they have no idea about the real world of government members stating one thing and not meaning what they say at all and that the Gov't does not back landlords but waster tenants.

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    Now is the time to use S8 were ever possible to show the government that the real reason for eviction is non payment or anti social behaviour etc. Using S21 masks the true reason for eviction

  • icon

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.. more tenants as voters than landlords!

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