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Angry activists want arrears cancelled as well as full eviction ban

Activists from a range of pressure groups have reacted angrily to what they call a half-baked eviction ban announced by the government. 

Just before the start of the weekend Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced a six week extension to the current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, with a review of the measure now scheduled for February 21. 

A statement from Lee Burkwood, on behalf of London Renters Union, says: "This isn’t a ban on evictions - it’s a plan for evictions. Landlords will still be able to drag the 840,000 people in rent debt due to the pandemic through the courts. That’s so they can prepare to kick renters out of their homes, as soon as it becomes legal again.


“Just imagine the emotional and financial strain it puts on households: this series of last minute short term pauses on evictions, the constant threat of being taken to court, the ease with which landlords perform illegal evictions - and all that on top of the pandemic and so many people losing work.”

And he adds: “Public health bodies have said that evictions will lead to increased transmission of Covid. If it’s unsafe for people to be evicted now, it’s not going to be safe by February 21? We need a permanent eviction ban, and we need rent debt cancelled, now.”

A statement from Generation Rent’s director - Baroness Alicia Kennedy - says she is disappointed that the ban applies only to bailiff-led evictions.

“Landlords can still serve notice and courts continue to hear cases, putting pressure on renters to move out before the bailiffs arrive, putting their health at risk” she says.

"The Housing Secretary pledged that no one who lost income as a result of the pandemic would lose their home, but half a million households have fallen behind on rent since March and without further support they will get deeper into debt and face homelessness. To keep renters in their homes for the long term, the government needs a plan to help them afford rent and clear their debts” she adds.

Poll: Is there a case for government clearing Covid rent arrears and 'starting afresh'?


  • Roger  Mellie

    Pay your rent or pay the consequences. These activists are left-wing loonies.

  • jeremy clarke

    If you don't pay a mobile phone bill, the service is withdrawn, if you miss payments on a car, it will be taken away. If you miss mortgage payments, you will lose your home, if you walk out of the supermarket with a trolley full of goods without paying, you will be stopped and prosecuted. All the above have consequences yet this thrown together bunch of fools think that being a tenant who has stolen from their landlord should not have consequences? If you can't afford something, for whatever reason, you should either not try and get it, give it back or have it legitimately taken from you!

  • icon

    Nobody ever mentions the financial consequences for Landlords always the consequences for tenants. Why is it ok for some to pay there bills and others to think it’s ok not to pay there’s . I understand hardship I don’t understand how it seems to be socially acceptable to mix those who can’t pay with those who refuse to pay and the more the left pampers to it the more it will be acceptable the do and contribute nothing to society .

  • icon

    Burkwood and Kennedy - both suckling at the taxpayers' teat. One wanting rent arrears paid by the taxpayer and the other collecting £300+ every time she pops into the House of Lords. Both a waste.

    Patrick  Rodgers

    I think you'll find it's a lot more than 300 a pop these people don't live in the real world there walking around with there head stuck up there a#slike you say you don't pay your phone bill they cut you of you walk out with out paying for your shopping you will be done but they think landlords should not be paid these people are simple

  • Kristjan Byfield

    One group claiming 840k arrears cases another quoting 500k does little to establish a fair and reasonable assessment of the situation. That said, support for Landlords and Tenant alike is sorely needed. The (so far) 88% saying 'what sector has its debts written off'- business rates stopped, reduction in VAT, furlough support, Grants & loansd galore- most sectors have had substantial support- Tenants have been left largely unsupported- with many hit hardest as students, freelancers or working in the arts. We are not talking about tenants 'choosing' not to pay rent a some minor cosmetic reason- we are talking about tenants either losing their income or expected to pay for an amenity they are unable to use due to government actions. We've got a long year of this ahead to go- let's not forget our compassion just yet- and lets not revert to type as agents & landlords making out that tenants are somehow 'playing the sysytem'- nothing could be further from the truth in most cases.

  • icon

    Am I missing something here? Whats more important?
    A roof over the families head or a mobile phone for mum, dad and 2.5 kids, Sky TV, BT TV, Netflix, Spotify, cigarettes, booze, etc etc etc.
    People need to prioritise starting with keeping a roof over the families head.
    Pay your rent then move onto the next important expenditure and so on.

  • icon

    A lot of tenants choose to have their housing benefit paid directly to them, then use the money hoping it will magically appear when rent is due to find themselves starting a spiral of debt. The rules should change for those tenants who have a history of not managing their housing benefit. For those who lost their jobs and cannot pay it is a different matter to those who will not pay. It is as simple as that. Now the government will extend the eviction date further which is a big mistake which will not help both the tenants and landlords. My tenants are nearly coming to 6 months unpaid rent. Get housing, universal credit, partner works as an electrician, have 3 kids and so probably get child tax credit ect and on the property inspection photos you can see clearly that they have work equipment which indicates they get extra money working. So do I think this is a case for wont pay or can't pay well am sure people can guess. Oh apparently tenant suffered a mental breakdown and partner did not know she did not pay the rent. I will keep you updated if this happens to be true. They still have not paid anything towards the arrears so time will tell.

  • icon

    As soon as tenants don't pay with no acceptable reason they are out, courts or not, they are history, no labour or liberal twit will tell me what to do with My property, fact.


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