The extended evictions ban has prevented a couple and their sick son from returning to the UK after their tenant stopped paying rent and refused to leave the family’s home.

Emma and Russell Burton, from Newton-le-Willows (pictured), rented out their house early in 2019 to move to Qatar for work with their two children.

But the move didn’t work out so they decided to return to the UK as their four-year-old son Thomas has a rare metabolic disorder and needs medication and a special diet.

Last December their tenant stopped paying rent and refused to move out. Since then, the Burtons have been living with Emma’s parents in France but fear that as they can’t access the health care system there, Thomas will suffer irreversible brain damage unless they can return.

With the eviction ban extended until 20th September, along with the court backlog, the family doesn’t know when their case will go to court so they can apply for a possession order.

As they have no money coming in, they’re worried that they’ll find themselves unable to afford the mortgage on their home.

Emma told the Liverpool Echo: “We can’t get back into our house, but because the tenant isn’t paying rent, we can’t afford a mortgage and to rent another property.”

She added: “When we came from Qatar a dietitian kindly gave him enough food and medication which will keep him going until the end of September, and by that time we expected everything to be resolved and be back in the UK and we could re-register him with doctors, but because we haven’t got an address the GP can’t refer him to Alder Hey.”


  1. i am in a similar situation though without a sick son, fortunately. I and my wife are old age pensioners stuck in Portugal as the tenant would not move out even though an eviction order had been served prior to Lockdown.
    the problem is that unlike any other court order the tenant is not in contempt of court. Which to me is strange. A bailiff order was applied for , then came the eviction ban. The te nat also stopped paying rent even though they get housing benefit, somehow COVID affects them financially. Yet another anomaly, as this could be regarded as fraud though if child benefit can be used to support drugs and booze i am not surprised. Even worse though is the current extension makes no note of what will happen to eviction orders already served. but where the tenant refuses to move mainly because of instructions form the Council. (another nonsense)

  2. If the tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears you can apply to the Local Authority (or Universal credit) for direct payment to the landlord


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