NEWSFLASH: U-turn on lifting of evictions ban

In a last minute U-turn the government has delayed the ending of the evictions ban until 20th September.

The government also intends to give tenants greater protection from eviction over the winter by requiring landlords to provide tenants with 6 months’ notice in all bar those cases raising other serious issues such as those involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators, until at least the end of March.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced the news, saying:

“I know this year has been challenging and all of us are still living with the effects of COVID-19. That is why today I am announcing a further 4 week ban on evictions, meaning no renters will have been evicted for 6 months.

“I am also increasing protections for renters – 6 month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter.

“However, it is right that the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, begin to be heard in court again; and so when courts reopen, landlords will once again be able to progress these priority cases.”

Polly Neate, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “It is right for the government not to lift the ban when it risks exposing people to eviction and the threat of homelessness with no means of defence.

“The government must use this short window of time wisely to put proper safeguards in place for renters.”

Oli Sherlock, Head of Insurance at Goodlord responded to the news:

“Extending the evictions ban to 20th September is simply kicking the can down the road. It’s helpful for neither tenants nor landlords. Arbitrary extensions simply delay the issue instead of addressing it and this announcement doesn’t seem to have come with a strategy attached.

“There are tenants who will have arrears building up – leaving them with huge amounts of personal debt for every month they are unable to pay their rent. At the same, landlords are becoming increasingly anxious about meeting their mortgage commitments or accessing what is often their only source of income. Both groups need more support.

“If we don’t use this extension wisely to come up with a better, more robust plan, we’re just compounding the issue.

“The vast majority of tenants and landlords have been communicating effectively throughout this period and making concessions wherever possible to keep people in their homes. But with situations becoming more difficult for many, we need a better system to meet these new housing challenges.

“The Government needs to introduce greater financial support for renters and create new routes to get them into more affordable homes. And they need to strengthen the safety net for landlords who themselves are being financially impacted by the evictions ban.

“Given the multitude of challenges landlord’s have faced in recent years, this decision will do very little to attract new landlords to the market – something which is desperately needed to meet increasing demand for quality housing for renters.”

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“A blanket extension is unacceptable, especially so close to the deadline. This announcement satisfies no-one.

“Landlords have been left powerless in exercising their legal right to deal with significant arrears unrelated to Covid-19, anti-social behaviour and extremely disruptive tenants who make life miserable for their neighbours and housemates.

“Private landlords cannot be expected to foot the bill for Government failure.”

Timothy Douglas, Policy and Campaigns Manager, ARLA Propertymark, said:

“Now that the ban on evictions has been extended, the government must use this time to introduce further guidance and prepare the sector. It is important to take steps back towards normality so that both landlords and tenants have access to the justice system, while putting measures in place to offer further support to tenants who have built up COVID-related arrears, and this four week extension will give government the time to introduce such measures.

“Additionally, given the backlog of cases already facing courts, it’s key that the government introduces sufficient guidance during this period to enable eviction proceedings to begin again smoothly and fairly when the ban is lifted.”

Law Society president Simon Davis said:

“Today, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) announced that it would be extending the stay on evictions for a further four weeks, until 20 September. However, tenants are still required to pay their rent and landlords are still able to serve a notice of eviction, with a new six-month notice period.”

“The government first brought in these measures on 26 March 2020, for an initial period of three months. The stay was then extended on 5 June until 24 August and has now been extended again so vulnerable tenants can get the help they need, and courts can continue to make the necessary arrangements.

“The government and the courts have passed new court rules and provided extra protections to vulnerable tenants and those who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

“However, more needs to be done, including resolving the legal aid deserts currently preventing tenants in some areas from receiving legal advice and making wider legislative changes to prevent a spike in homelessness.”

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14 Comments

  1. AgencyInsider

    Typical. This incompetent government could not organise a p*** up in a brewery. They have known for weeks when the ban would end.

    Why leave it to the very last knockings to make the decision?

    Was Jenrick too busy dealing with dodgy planning applications to pay attention to this issue?

     

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    1. Rebel

      Yep – useless a-holes.

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  2. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    “…in the most egregious of cases…”

    I’d say not paying rent to a Landlord who may be struggling to make ends meet, is pretty”egregious”…but what do I know?!

    Shelter has invited all disrespectful/opportunistic Tenants, to a champagne and canapé party…at the cost of, well… almost every decent, right thinking person who takes responsibility for their lives.

    Distasteful in the extreme

     

     

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  3. LeeHardy45

    I would like to hope that they are going to use this extension to put together a thorough plan that works in the best interests of landlords and tenants but that doesn’t seem likely at all

    As they had already taken steps to delay evictions after the weekend by making the form N5B disappear from the .gov website it is much more likely that after a week of bad press they have done this with the hope of getting some favourable headlines over the weekend as that does seem all they are interested in

     

     

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  4. JamesB

    Proper hanging landlords out to dry now …

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  5. stabilo17

    great news – everyone knows things will be better in a months time

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  6. smile please

    More kickings for the PRS.

    If i stop paying my rates and council tax, VAT returns, NI etc

    I am sure HMRC and the local authorities will be understanding.

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  7. James Wilson

    Poor Buy to Let landlords.  They have huge public sympathy … not.  After years of policy designed solely for their enrichment – ultra low interest rates, curbs on new development, mass immigration, ridiculously lopsided tax treatment (getting tax benefits of a company while being a private individual etc) – they are finally being treated more fairly versus the rest of society.  That is why there is no “outcry” over any of these changes.

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    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      You clearly don’t understand business and are a victim??

      Landlords are doing the job of the state and that’s where attention needs to be focused.

      Goverment is using landlords as banks.  When they are clearly not.

       

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      1. Will2

        Don’t worry about James he has his own problems.  The real victims will prove to be tenants and those who need housing. Having just let a flat I had 110 requests to view it in a 14 days marketing period. With so many applicants I had a massive choice of tenant. Naturally I chose the couple I thought best for me i.e those who could affored to rent and appeared to have a good ethic.  This demand, I believe, was due to the landlord exodus encouraged by those like James, Government and Shelter. The people they claim to be helping are those who suffer most because of their bizzare political ideaologies. They have sewn the seed for landlords to sell up and now those they claim to represent are reaping the rewards (as these clowns see it).  Sadly the reductions of supply advocated by James and his looney brigade does real harm to those needing houses. He (James) will tell you this is great as house prices will fall and everyone (except of course the poorest who have to rent) as houses  will be cheap or perhaps affordable for James???? but not the poorest in society.  There are no winners but those in need of housing on low salaries will be the most adversely affected.  The latest inept government decision by planning boy Jenrick will just affirm very strongly how the Government are so very  and increasingly anti landlord it will convince even more landlords that the Government still have the Teresa May HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT ethos. This will only drive dis-investment in the residential private rented sector. James, The Government and Shelter will of course disagree with this view but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and many will starve!! And yes it will drive up rents for the landlords who wish to continue risking their investment with more anti landlords policies in train.

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        1. stabilo17

          please understand that Shelter provide accomodation, fix leaks, undertake gas safety checks, help resolve anti social behaviour whilst also not being paid. True charity

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          1. Will2

            stabilo17, the real problem is that some people who give to this so called charity probably believe that!

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    2. jeremy1960

      James Wilson what are you on? Landlords provide much needed housing, often where local authorities have trousered the proceeds from selling off their housing stock. Take private landlords out of the equation and you have……..thousands of homeless families. Simple really but if that’s what you support, carry on!

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  8. CountryLass

    So, what happens when a BTL landlord can’t pay the mortgage and a repossession order is in the pipeline? Are we supposed to believe that the banks are just going to sit there with all of this unpaid money they are owed? If there is a ban on evictions then I assume there is also a ban on repossessions and foreclosures on the basis of non-payment?

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