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Labour unveils bill to spare coronavirus sufferers from eviction if they can't pay rent

Labour unveils bill to spare coronavirus sufferers from eviction if they can't pay rent

Labour say renters could be evicted if they catch the coronavirus.

2 min read

Coronavirus sufferers forced to take time off work would not be evicted for missing their rent under an emergency bill introduced by Labour.

The draft legislation would make it illegal for landlords to penalise tenants whose income is reduced while they battle the deadly illness.

Launching the Landlord and Tenant (Temporary Provisions) Bill, Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said there needed to be "a rapid response from the government to protect families".

He said: "Our current threadbare legal safety net means renters are vulnerable to eviction if they get ill and fall behind on their rent. The fear of being evicted may also mean workers are reluctant stay off work and self-isolate.

"Our emergency legislation would protect renters from eviction and we urge the government to work with us to adopt it and implement it at the earliest opportunity.

“This is an essential first step in public reassurance, giving people confidence they can follow official health advice in responding to coronavirus without putting their home at risk."

The Government has said that anyone with a persistent cough or a temperature above 37.8 degrees should stay at home for at least seven days.

Ministers have said that statutory sick pay (SSP) will be available from the first day of absence, rather than the fourth, for anyone with coronavirus.

But critics have said that does not go far enough because the SSP rate in the UK is far lower than most other European countries..

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