Generation Rent director Alicia Kennedy (main pic) has been criticised after she called for a new ban on evictions for the duration of the new lockdown.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, Generation Rent wants to stop landlords issuing mandatory eviction notices where there are no fault grounds or the tenant is in more than two months’ of rent arrears.

It is also calling on it to close courts and suspend bailiff action to keep tenants safe during the public health crisis.

But evictions specialist Paul Shamplina (pictured) of Landlord Action says Generation Rent knows that the current measures already in place since last Autumn mean no tenant can be evicted from their homes until at least April or May this year at the earliest.

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“The six months’ notice of possession that landlords must give tenants, coupled with the court restrictions enabling only the most serious and urgent cases to proceed, and the current restrictions on bailiff actions, mean it will be many months before tenants will face eviction,” he says.

But Generation Rent director Alicia Kennedy says that during the first lockdown, renters who had received an eviction notice still felt pressure to move out.

“That’s why we’re calling on the government to do all it can to prevent unnecessary house moves by suspending evictions,” she says. “The government must also stop landlords from issuing eviction notices in the first place. 

Rent debt

“Since the first lockdown there are many more people who are out of work so relying on Universal Credit rather than furlough. That means a lot of people are facing a shortfall on their rent – we need the government to prevent them from falling into rent debt.”

The pressure group wants the government to raise Local Housing Allowance, scrap the benefit cap and provide grants to help tenants pay the rent. Since the last lockdown, unemployment has risen to 4.9%, but its research has found that benefits fail to cover the rent in every region in England.

Further clarity on how to keep tenants safe from the virus during house moves is also needed, it adds, which could be achieved through moving viewings online, and issuing guidance to landlords and estate agents not to enter rented properties except in urgent cases and with express permission. 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Something needs to be done to protect LLs. Tenants who cannot pay their rent and who can’t be evicted will build up ever increasing debt. Why is this burden falling on LLs? The Govt is bailing everyone else out – but LLs are expected to cope with this on their own.

    We need a solution – renters need homes & LLs need rent – how difficult can it be?

    • It’s crazy. The government should offer tenants who are in arrears a loan. Those who refuse should be evicted within 4 weeks. Without a solution to rent arrears the PRS will go under and there will be lots of homeless families and individuals because landlords will not accept those who have not got their last property’s rent up to date. A lot of landlords are selling up – it’s just not worth it anymore. It’s the most vulnerable tenants who will suffer in the end. It’s a sad story all round.

  2. I have stopped taking on any new tenants now until this madness ends… I simply don’t have the funds to provide free housing. And it’s going to be very risky taking on tenants who may be coming from an eviction.

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