From Robert Ulph on March 19, 2021
The Government stated they would regularly review the eviction ban that was first introduced in March 2020 and last week the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, announced a further extension to the ban on evictions for private renters.
The initial ban on evictions in England was introduced at the start of the pandemic and previous extensions pushed the end date to 31 March 2021. This latest extension will now be in place until 31 May 2021 and the government has confirmed this will be kept under review in line with the latest public health advice.
The requirement for landlords to provide six-month notice periods to tenants before they evict will also be extended until at least 31 May 2021, meaning that most renters now served notice can stay in the property until at least December 2021.
Exemptions remain in place for the most serious circumstances and these include illegal occupation, false statement, anti-social behaviour, where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant, and extreme rent arrears.
“The Government has yet again extended the ban on evictions in England, without putting any additional and specific measures in place to support the sector,” commented Timothy Douglas, Propertymark Policy and Campaigns Manager. “With the furlough scheme extended until September, it is likely that we will see further changes in the months ahead. To this end, we urge the Government to consider a wider strategy and plan for how the sector can deal with rent arrears and the backlog of eviction cases, to avoid a mounting crisis.”
“As the impact of COVID-19 continues to bite with household debt and unemployment rates rising, we remain concerned about how tenants will avoid future rent arrears and landlords will remain incentivised to stay in the market. Rather than short-term measures that are not helping those renters that need it most, the Government must focus on providing long-term support to help renters clear the debt and arrears they have built up during the pandemic.”
If any landlord is unsure what this means to them or if they are already affected financially with mortgage payments and lost rent, I cannot stress enough to seek professional advice. I also urge any tenants who are facing financial difficulties to contact their landlord or letting agent as soon as possible to discuss what options might be, as it is best to avoid rent arrears and any uncertainty.
I would also remind that the current situation is not a green light for tenants to assume that they can simply stop paying their rent as this could have long-term implications for their landlord and on the future of their rental.
At Pennington we can advise what can be arranged so that both tenants and landlord come through this uncertain time in the best way. So as always if you need advice on this or anything else on the local property market, please call me as I am always happy to help.