Support, Advice and Experience within the Property Market

Regular Reviews on Latest Eviction Ban Extension

From Robert Ulph on January 15, 2021

Last week the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, announced a further extension to the ban on evictions for private renters and this came into force on Monday 11th January.

The last extension, put in place at the start of the lockdown in November, included a month-long ban over Christmas and was due to end on January 11th but the ban is now to go through until 21st February with regular reviews.

Originally introduced last March, as part of the Coronavirus Act 2020, among other regulations the Act delayed when landlords could start new evictions from private rented accommodation during the crisis. The provisions of the Act were last extended in November and bailiffs were asked not to enforce evictions during the national lockdown in England.

This is now to be extended again, except as before in the most serious cases. These serious circumstances include cases of illegal occupation, anti-social behaviour, and fraud, for example. It also includes extreme rent arrears – equivalent to nine months’ rent with any arrears accrued since 23 March 2020 discounted.

“In light of the recent lockdown, it is no surprise that the Government has made this announcement,” commented Mark Hayward, Propertymark Chief Policy Advisor, “yet over the past few weeks the UK Government has held off updates about evictions to the sector making it impossible for agents to respond and plan for the difficult winter months ahead. The whole of the private rented sector has been impacted as a result of COVID-19 but we must recognise that the courts already faced a backlog of cases prior to the pandemic.”

“Although the new mediation pilot will help, 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 through no fault of their own.”

If any landlord is unsure about what this could mean to them or if they are already being adversely affected financially with mortgage payments and lost rent, I cannot stress enough to seek professional advice. I would also really urge any tenants who are facing financial difficulties to contact their landlord or letting agent as soon as possible to discuss what the options might be, as it is best to avoid rent arrears and any uncertainty.

I would also remind that the current situation is not an automatic 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.