Eviction ban focus for local elections

The bailiff eviction ban that was due to end at the end of March has been extended once more until the 31st of May.;

The UK government has extended the current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions in England until the 31st of May.

The ban, which has been extended multiple times, was due to end at the end of March.

It requires private landlords to give tenants six months’ notice before they can repossess properties, outside of exceptional circumstances.

The announcement was coupled with a further ban on commercial evictions to the 30th of June, to ensure they can reopen.

Announcement made

Housing Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:

“It is right that as we move through the roadmap, we ensure that businesses and renters continue to be supported.”

“We have taken unprecedented action to support both commercial and residential tenants throughout the pandemic – with a £280 billion economic package to keep businesses running and people in jobs and able to meet their outgoings, such as rent.”

“These measures build on the government’s action to provide financial support as restrictions are lifted over the coming months – extending the furlough scheme, business rates holiday and the Universal Credit uplift.”

NRLA respond

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) responded:

“The further extension to the repossessions ban will do nothing to help those landlords and tenants financially hit due to the pandemic.”

“Given the cross-sector consensus for the need to address the rent debt crisis, it suggests the government are unwilling to listen to the voices of those most affected.”

“If the Chancellor wants to avoid causing a homelessness crisis, he must develop an urgent financial package including interest free, government guaranteed loans to help tenants in arrears to pay off rent debts built since March 2020.”

“This is vital for those who do not qualify for benefit support. Without this, more tenants face losing their homes, and many will carry damaged credit scores, making it more difficult to rent in the future and causing huge pressure on local authorities when they can least manage it.”

Elections to come

Three weeks before the end of this new deadline for the eviction ban, a host of local elections are to take place in the UK.

These are for positions including the London Mayor, over 150 district and county authorities, Scottish parliament and the Welsh Senedd Cymru, as well as the Police and Crime commissioners.

Generation Rent, the campaign led by former Labour Baroness Alicia Kennedy has already issued a message to voters.

“Demand your protection from illegal evictions with your ballot paper.”

It will be interesting to see if any of the campaigners focus on the issue of eviction and rent.

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