Councils around England are joining calls for the government to impose yet another extension to the evictions ban.

Greater Manchester, the Isle of Wight, Brighton & Hove and Oxford are among those warning of a potential wave of homelessness; under current rules, bailiffs can enforce section 21 notices again on 22nd February while evictions are expected to take place from 8th March.

Greater Manchester leaders want the government to ban evictions until the summer and to provide direct financial support for tenants and landlords.

They point to an estimated 16,800 households in the city-region already affected by Covid-related arrears and mayor Andy Burnham (main pic) says the homelessness system can’t take much more.

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He adds: “A sudden surge in evictions will create a huge amount of pressure and I urge government to reimpose the eviction ban to protect people who are in these circumstances through no fault of their own.”

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Brighton & Hove Council also believes new grants for Covid-related debt will help the city’s struggling residents.

It’s urging the government to remove an exemption allowing landlords to evict tenants who had fallen behind with their rent over the past six months.

Councillor Gill Williams (pictured) says if the ban ends in two weeks’ time, the homeless prevention team will be overwhelmed.

Adds Williams: “Brighton and Hove Citizens Advice Bureau reports that the ending of private rental sector tenancies is the leading cause of homelessness in this sector and rent arrears have become one of the highest debt issues.”

Oxford Council saw a 55% fall in the number of homeless households it needed to help from April to September 2020, largely thanks to the eviction ban, says Mike Rowley, cabinet member for affordable housing and housing the homeless.

He adds: “The eviction ban has helped prevent homelessness throughout the pandemic, and it needs to be extended again – and not just until lockdown ends.”

Read more about evictions ban extension calls.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Continuously preventing eviction doesn’t solve the problem of tenants who don’t or can’t pay their rent – it just kicks the problem down the road. How are we going to solve the issue of the arrears? LLs can’t keep providing homes for free & tenants are building up unaffordable debt. Who is going to pick up the tab for the unpaid rent?

    Let’s be clear – even Social Housing Landlords evict non-paying tenants so why should the PRS be different?

  2. These politicians are not allowing take stuff free from super market and walk away, most of these politicians and council own so many homes why don’t they open their home and welcome these Tenants who doesn’t want to pay,
    As Robert suggested council and government should pay to rent, they think we have free money and can pay mortgage for Tenants, I personally work 7 days to afford Tenants home mortgage too and reach to maximum point where i can’t afford anymore and struggling to pay and Tenants doesn’t want to pay rent.

  3. Well said John ! The council and the government don’t care about our problems. They just keep on lining their own pockets.
    Well it’s time us landlords say enough is enough !!
    Let’s make our own rules up for a change, surely there are enough of us.
    Time we stopped being ruled and dictated to !
    If a tenant is in arrears because they choose to be then out they go, no ifs, no. buts. OUT !!!

  4. Following that logic let’s never evict anyone ever again. Whenever evictions are allowed they will result in widespread homelessness because in the real world you can’t live somewhere for nothing forever.

  5. Well some of them do. They run up £thousands in arrears and move on.
    And that’s because they can. Because we can’t throw them out. Oh no, we have to just sit and watch the arrears rise and rise. We have to take them to court at our expense ! Hey ho no problem, as if we’re ever going to get those arrears back and as if they are going to listen to the judges. No of course not. The date will come and go and off we sheep go, back to the court begging for a bailiff.
    What a pathetic tenant protecting system this country has.
    Well done!!!

  6. Lets not evict any tenants ever, then no one will be homeless! If they extend the ban. this will mean, lets say 10.000 evictions will not take place, then in 6 months it will be 100.000, in a year 200.000 and so on. really good forward thinking.

  7. As landlords we will just make the tenants feel even more pain, what goes round comes round. You will find that we shall be evicting tenants who are good also now. We have decided to get rid of 30 tenants as the UK government are so unsupportive.

  8. Councillor Gill Williams says if the ban ends in two weeks’ time, the homeless prevention team will be overwhelmed. Well, if they wait until the summer, however bad things are now, it will be far worse then. How can they just let this go on and on? This will bankrupt some landlords.

  9. Manchester mayor Andy Burnham slammed for attacking North-South divide whilst owning £500k London pad.
    When is Andy Burnham providing is £500k pad to the homeless. Big mouth but no no real ethics, welcome to UK politics. Practise what you preach!

  10. Councillor Gill Williams (pictured) says if the ban ends in two weeks’ time, the homeless prevention team will be overwhelmed.

    Well to state the obvious the only way to prevent a large number of evictions will be to ban evictions indefinitely, because I have no doubt that the longer the problem is allowed to grow the bigger the flood when the dam is removed.

    There is clear evidence that many are taking advantage of the current situation, racking up huge debts which they know will not be recoverable.

    The govt threaten to jail for 10 years anyone lying on their forms when entering the uk yet there are seemingly zero penalties for tenants in default.

    Makes no sense.

  11. Starmer was a Human rights lawyer so 100% you know what his view will be.

    Normally we could rely on conservatives to protect business but at the moment the Tories are more to the left than Tony Blair ever was.

    We live in crazy times but its not funny for landlords who have been hung out to dry. Landlords without mortgages get zero help from govt.

  12. The problem is that these councils know full well that the government are taking the pressure off of them by making the landlords take the financial hit.

  13. The squeeze is still going to come, delaying the inevitable and making it worse as people begin to default on mortgages, get deeper into arrears and tensions start to heighten. Illegal evictions and a green light not to pay rent will both soar. Stop treating the symptoms, look for the root causes.

    Look at councils, they are money sponges and wasters. End of the year suddenly everyone gets renovation works in the houses because they got to spend their budget or lose it. Nothing is in-house so they pay companies a ridiculous sum looking to make a profit rather than their own teams of people.

    England has alot of old buildings either just aged or derelict. In many cases it would be better to compulsory purchase, knock down and rebuild to new. Provide new houses of a decent standard. Follow the example of other nations where the government participates in building and selling houses to fund it if they must. There are options out there, some more viable than others but ultimately they are just making this worse for everyone involved right now. No magic solution is going to happen with an extension to the eviction ban.

    • There is only so long leveraged LL will be able to pay their BTL mortgages in lieu of defaulted rent.

      Then what!?

      Surely many LL are facing bankruptcy and consequent homelessness themselves.

      Desperate LL will resort to illegal eviction.

      There will always be some gentleman able to be hired to remove recalcitrant tenants.
      A signed tenancy surrender document would be hard to disprove.
      Few feckless rent defaulting tenants would resist the imperative to sign a Tenancy surrender document.

      Some gentlemen can be very persuasive!!

  14. Maybe someone should take a Council or Government to court for non paying tenant. See how a judge reacts to all the evidence put before him. Include letter from mortgage as to what the consequences would be if landlords does not pay the mortgage!!

  15. Completely agree with this on the basis the government cover any rent arrears. If not this is akin to people walking into supermarkets filling their trolleys and walking out without paying. A level playing field is essential for landlords and tenants !!

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