Eviction ban extended in England

Over the weekend, the UK Government announced they are extending the eviction ban once more. Due to end on the 21st of February, the ban has now been extended until the 31st of March.;
Evictions

Over the weekend, the UK Government announced they are extending the eviction ban once more.

Due to end on the 21st of February, the ban has now been extended until the 31st of March.

This brings England’s ban in line with the rest of the UK, who had taken this step back at the beginning of January.

Bailiff ban extension

Exemptions to the ban remain unchanged, including anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse or arrears of 6 months’ rent or more.

As landlords are required to give 6 months’ notice to their tenants, this means that landlords cannot currently get their property back before August 2021, apart from extreme circumstances.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick said:

“We have taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic including introducing a six-month notice period and financial support to help those struggling to pay their rent.

“By extending the ban on the enforcement of evictions by bailiffs, in all but the most serious cases, we are ensuring renters remain protected during this difficult time.

“Our measures strike the right balance between protecting tenants and enabling landlords to exercise their right to justice.”

Is there enough support?

Isobel Thomson, Chief Executive of Safeagent, said:

“With Government’s latest announcement on the deferral of bailiff evictions to 31 March, there is still no recognition of the support landlords have given to tenants who have accumulated arrears since the start of the pandemic.”

“We know from Safeagents who have worked hard to set up payment plans between landlords and tenants that the majority of landlords have been sympathetic to their tenant’s plight.”

“We recognise financial support for renters has been put in place to a certain extent by Government, but shortfalls still exist between what the agreed rent at the start of a tenancy was and the amount tenants – whose circumstances have changed drastically through no fault of their own – can afford to pay.”

“This comes at a huge cost to both tenants and landlords.”

NRLA weighs in

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle has said:

“The announcement does nothing to help over 800,000 private renters who have built rent arrears since lockdown measures started last year. It means debts will continue to mount to the point where they have no hope of paying them off. It will lead eventually to them having to leave their home and face serious damage to their credit scores.

“The government needs to get a grip and do something about the debt crisis renters and landlords are now facing. A package of hardship loans and grants is needed as a matter of urgency. To expect landlords and tenants simply to muddle through without further support is a strategy that has passed its sell-by date.”

What next?

With the government planning to announce the “roadmap to reopen” before the end of the month and the vaccine distribution going according to plan, landlords will be likely to anticipate that an end to lockdown will finally see an end to the eviction ban extensions.

This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.