The government has revealed several changes to the evictions ban including a halt in local lockdown areas and a bar on bailiff evictions during the run-up to Christmas.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has also announced an additional £40 million for Discretionary Housing Payment to support vulnerable renters this year.

As before, there will be exceptions including where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or committed fraud, or when a landlord ‘would like to re-let their property to another tenant’.

And in a sign that government is beginning to realise landlords are unhappy about the evictions ban, the government’s statement says that “we would like to thank landlords for their forbearance during this difficult time”.

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The announcement also reveals that the evictions ban will not be extended past September 21th ‘because no landlord, including those who only rent out a single property, has had access to the courts since March’.

U-turn

Also, the pre-action system much heralded by Ministers prior to the government’s U-turn in August extending the ban until August 21, are to be reinstated.

These include the prioritisation of cases (anti-social behaviour and other crimes pllus extreme rent arrears), mandatory re-activation procedures for evictions started before August 3rd, and that landlords must work with tenants to see how they have been affected by the pandemic.

The Christmas truce will also exclude evictions involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.

“It’s right that we strike a balance between protecting vulnerable renters and ensuring landlords whose tenants have behaved in illegal or anti-social ways have access to justice,” says Jenrick.

“Our legislation means such cases will be subject to shorter notice periods and then prioritised through the judiciary’s new court processes.”

Reaction

“It is welcome that renters will not face eviction by bailiffs around Christmas or where there are lockdown measures. But outside that, thousands of renters who have had eviction notices during the pandemic still have no assurance from the government whether they can stay in their home,” says Alicia Kennedy, Director at Generation Rent.

“Those who have lost income will find it difficult to find a new home so face many months of uncertainty, getting deeper into debt. The government must offer them more support than a Discretionary Housing Payment pot that was set up before the pandemic hit.”

Read the announcement in full.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Alicia Kennedy of Generation Rent must understand that landlords aren’t a free housing scheme for tenants. Most landlords have mortgages, so she must be ignorant of the fact that if landlords don’t receive rent and can’t pay their mortgage then the mortgage lender will foreclose that mortgage. The property will be repossessed and sold at auction.

    • The figures for mortgaged LL are NOT as you state.
      It is generally accepted that 50% of the PRS comprises of unencumbered letting properties.
      25% comprises of corporate LL small and large.
      The remaining 25% comprises of mortgaged sole trader LL who of course are the only LL subject to S24 taxes.

      S24 was introduced to eradicate mortgaged LL.
      Many have escape S24 by converting to corporate status albeit a very expensive exercise.
      That leaves the mortgaged sole trader LL who are reckoned to house about 1.5 million households.

      It is the mortgaged LL that is most vulnerable to the eviction ban.
      Sole trader LL as theu are expected to pay tax on a fictitious income without any income from rent to pay the S24 taxes.

      There will be many LL bankrupted by HMRC for inability to pay S24 taxes as tenants aren’t paying rent and LL can’t get rid of rent defaulting tenants to try and then source tenants who will pay rent!!

      The feckless tenants will be removed by the lender and ultimately the LL will be made homeless when the lender forces the sale of their residential home to pay for the mortgage shortfall on the repossessed property.

      One scum tenant haz the capacity to destroy a LL personal domestic circumstances.

      Is it really worthwhile being a BTL LL!?

  2. The government is still ignoring landlords whose eviction was in the pipeline before tenants could feel the financial effect of Covid-19.
    The eviction of my troublesome tenant (which had nothing whatsoever to do with Coronavirus) failed to take place on 25 March. The government could easily have allowed her to be removed when Covid-19 cases were low, but instead extended the stay on all evictions. Now the area in question has gone into local lock down, which means further delay.
    Why could the government not allow these pre-Covid cases to proceed? Legislation is rushed through with little thought for those who could be a legitimate exception to the rules.
    The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

  3. Why does not Alicia Kennedy buy some properties on mortgages and house some of the families on the LAs lists looking for a roof without charging any rent from them and see if she can survive financially

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