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Thu, 9 April 2020

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Government bans all tenant evictions for duration of coronavirus crisis

Government bans all tenant evictions for duration of coronavirus crisis

The measures will apply to both social and private renters.

2 min read

Evictions of tenants are to be banned while the Government tried to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Boris Johnson said "we cannot penalise people for doing the right thing" by staying off work to prevent the spread of the deadly illness.

Emergency legislation will be introduced preventing landlords from starting eviction proceedings for at least three months.

The move follows complaints that tenants who lose their jobs, or see their income slashed, as a result of the outbreak could be booted out of their properties for failing to pay their rent.

In addition, three-month mortgage holidays already announced by the Government will be extended to buy-to-let lending arrangements used by landlords.

After the crisis is over, landlords and their tenants will be expected to agree a repayment plan for the outstanding rent, ministers said.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the PM said: "We will want to protect people who face difficulties, as I say, through no fault of their own.

"We cannot penalise people for doing the right thing. Nor can we penalise people when you have an economic upset that is the direct result of the Government's actions, the Government's advice which are intended to protect the public.

"Everybody who experiences that kind of dislocation, that kind of disruption, is entitled, as I said yesterday, to protection and support and that is what we will provide."

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "The Government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.

"These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. Which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.

"These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time."

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: "Landlord groups welcomes government support.

"We recognise the exceptional circumstances and we will work collaboratively with government to ensure these measures protect both landlords and tenants."

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