The government has announced a further extension to the current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions in England until May 31.
At that point the ban will taper off. No details have been given as to how this ‘taper’ will take effect, with a government statement merely saying: “The government will consider the best approach to move away from emergency protections from the beginning of June, taking into account public health advice and the wider roadmap."
The requirement for landlords to provide six-month notice periods to tenants before they evict will also be extended until “at least 31 May” says Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick.
There’s been a swift reaction from Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association: “he further extension to the repossessions ban will do nothing to help those landlords and tenants financially hit due to the pandemic.
“Given the cross-sector consensus for the need to address the rent debt crisis, it suggests the government are unwilling to listen to the voices of those most affected.
“If the Chancellor wants to avoid causing a homelessness crisis, he must develop an urgent financial package including interest free, government guaranteed loans to help tenants in arrears to pay off rent debts built since March 2020.
“This is vital for those who do not qualify for benefit support. Without this, more tenants face losing their homes, and many will carry damaged credit scores, making it more difficult to rent in the future and causing huge pressure on local authorities when they can least manage it.”
The announcement today means that until the 31st May private landlords will need to continue to give tenants six months’ notice before they can repossess properties, except in the following circumstances:
- Anti-social behaviour (four weeks’ notice)
- False statements provided by the tenant (two to four weeks’ notice)
- Over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears (four weeks’ notice)
- Breach of immigration rules under the ‘Right to Rent’ policy (three months’ notice).