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Labour in Commons onslaught about Coronavirus evictions 

Two Labour MPs have made extensive claims about the number of evictions from the private rental sector likely to happen if and when current bans on evictions end.

In a debate with ministers from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government the Labour MP for Stockport, Navendu Mishra, said: “Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of being evicted when the ban is lifted. The Covid crisis has highlighted underlying problems in the private rented sector, including families being forced into expensive and insecure housing. 

"Local organisations in my constituency, including Stockport Tenants Union and ACORN, have long campaigned to end Section 21 evictions, but when will the Minister deliver her manifesto commitment to do the same?


And in the same debate Labour’s shadow housing minister, Thangam Debbonaire, said: “Millions of hard-working people are excluded from every covid scheme—newly self-employed or employed, small business owners, people with mixed employment, even some on maternity or paternity leave who have lost work because of Covid but have little or no government support. 

“The government’s own stats show that hundreds of thousands have fallen behind on rent. A loophole in the new evictions rules means that anyone with more than six months in arrears is at risk of eviction. When the Secretary of State [Robert Jenrick] said that no one should lose their home because of coronavirus, did he or did he not mean that?”

The MHCLG minister responsible for answering the MPs’ questions, Kelly Tolhurst, said: “Last week … the Secretary of State increased the ban on evictions for a further six weeks. We have also introduced six months’ notice, which means that people who receive an order now will find that it will not go through the courts until July. 

“We are committed to making sure that we protect anybody who is suffering homelessness. That has been borne out by the level of investment that we have put into the sector during the pandemic. We will keep all these measures under review.”

  • jeremy clarke

    Yet more spurious claims, is there a department for making up numbers that these idiots refer to? Let's see some facts rather than finger in the air guesses, how many landlords on this site are planning to evict tenants due to covid arrears? I suspect that many facing eviction are won't payers rather than can't pay.

    Mark Wilson

    I suspect you are misguided on the financial status of many tenants

    Barry X

    Mark - here's a quotation for you, supposedly from Plato:

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something".


    @ Barry X If there is ever a vote for best comment of the day/week/month/year then you would win it!

    Matthew Payne

    There are less people negatively affected by the pandemic than people realise. I appreciate there are some tragic stories out there and people who have lost their jobs, but many have been remployed in other industries as well. I read a report the other day that said the average Brit is £7300 better off over the last 12 months due to WFH and greatly reduced expenditure, gyms, pubs, holidays etc, even if they have been furloughed. Likewise I just dont see or hear of these massive rent arrears whether landlords or agents that would warrant such a huge number of evictions.

    All that said though, even a relatively modest 10,000 section 21s will be too many for HMG as most will be relying on social housing for their next place to live. If for that reason alone, the 2021 removal of section 21 is pretty much guaranteed.

  • jeremy clarke

    Mark Wilson, I manage an agency with over 150 tenancies, since March we have had 2 tenants who have experienced payment difficulties. I have encouraged tenants to talk to us as early as possible and worked with them to ensure they receive as much help and guidance as is available, as of today just 1 tenant in arrears. regular outbound contact from us has ensured that others experiencing difficulty have been able to access help when needed. Talking to colleagues who are experiencing issues with tenants not paying rent, the majority of those not paying were either in arrears before Covid or, are just refusing to pay knowing that landlords can do nothing.


    Jeremy, ignore Mad Mark as he is known on here.

    Labour use these figures which they have plucked out of the air so their supporters will vote for them. Unfortunately we have a Conservative government that is also after the same votes. That is why, hopefully, there will be at least one less rental property available in the next few weeks when I have sold mine.

    Mark Wilson

    Want to set up a sweep stake? Jeremy, to your reckoning covid is a zero sum issue. Maybe you should be running the country rather than 150 flats!

    Kristjan Byfield

    Jeremy- we have taken a similar approach, manage a similar size portfolio and have zero tenants in rent arrears. Ive seen people suggest arrears/evictions numbers as high as 800,000- bearing in mind there are around 4m PRS properties in the UK that would be 20%. Does the gov really believe landlords will evict 20% of all tenants? If so, who's moving in after? Rent arraers is a serious issue and there are many facing hardship and the government should do more but the clickbait 'statisics' (often extrapolated from relatively small samples) are often far from the truth of the matter.


    Jeremy - ‘Spot on’. Your comment is a mirror of our own experiences. We have been in regular contact with all of our tenants, guiding those in need to Universal Credit. The only tenants not paying were already in arrears and now taking full advantage of this situation. The way we have all been treated is an absolute scandal.

    James B

    Jeremy, similar story with us. 420 tenancies, 6/8 issues. only two of those in court awaiting the order and both were huge arrears before Covid.

    James B

    indeed the only reason there is a huge number backed up as its likely the same volumes as always but they have been on hold for so long now

  • icon

    Jeremy that’s a similar percentage I’ve witnessed. Can’t pay more like won’t pay in majority of cases until they are educated in what will happen going forward

    As for you Mark surely your letting agency figures will be similar and if higher than maybe you should take advice from Jeremy to protect your landlords

  • icon

    Lets just go back to basics here, if the government is going to continue to protect tenants living in landlords accommodation without paying rent, then the government will need to protect the landlords by paying the defaulted rent for the tenants. Alternatively they could pay the landlords mortgages and cost's for them, clearly neither is likely but something need to be done.


    I like that idea. They can also deal with the calls for maintenance as they are so involved. Just drop me what’s left over.
    I think it’s clear they see this as a debt for LL’s to take on. It wouldn’t be so bad if we had the right ammunition to evict rent shirkers

  • James B

    homeowner working guarantors are the future now for every landlord


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