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Wed, 28 October 2020

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Covid-19: Halt on evictions for private tenants extended for two months

Covid-19: Halt on evictions for private tenants extended for two months

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick revealed the halt on evictions is being extended (PA)

2 min read

The halt on evictions from social and private rented properties has been extended for another two months, the Government has revealed.

Announcing the policy, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said “no-one will be evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus”.

The extension comes after emergency legislation preventing landlords from ousting tenants in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic were due to run out at the end of this month.

Mr Jenrick tweeted: “We are suspending evictions from social & private rented accommodation by a further two months.

“Eviction hearings will not be heard in courts until the end of August and no-one will be evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.”

At the end of March, when the country went into lockdown, ministers revealed new evictions were being postponed, while mortgage payments were suspended too.

Mr Jenrick said at the time:"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."

The Housing Secretary had been lobbied to lengthen the time limit of the policy after thousands of tenants who have struggled to pay rent during the pandemic faced the prospect of losing their home from the end of June.

The charity Shelter welcomed the move but said it was “only a stop-gap”. Polly Neate, their chief executive, said: “The ban hasn’t stopped people who’ve lost their jobs during this pandemic from racking up rent arrears. 

“Even if they have a plan to pay them back, these debts will throw struggling renters straight back into the firing line of an automatic eviction as soon as the ban does lift.   

“It’s critical that Robert Jenrick uses this extension wisely to change the law and properly protect renters."

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