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Eviction change - tenants with ‘severe arrears’ can be evicted

From today possession cases with severe rent arrears will be exempt from the effective ban on evictions applying to the England lockdown.

This means that bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers can move to enforce warrants and complete evictions. 

However, this will only apply to cases where the equivalent of nine months’ rent arrears had been built up before March 23 this year, when the UK went into national lockdown.


Paul Shamplina, founder of landlord and tenant solicitors’ firm Landlord Action says: “This is very welcome news for those landlords whose tenants had stopped paying rent months prior to the pandemic and, until now, had been given carte blanche to continue living rent free. However, there are concerns about how long it will take those landlords, whose arrears cases fall short of the government’s definition of ‘substantial’ - ie, nine months, to regain possession.”


The eviction ban started in March and ended in September, only to be reinstated in areas classified as Covid risk Tier 2 or Tier 3. 

On November 5 the government said renters would be protected during the second [England] restrictions with no bailiff enforcement action, except for the most egregious cases such as anti-social behaviour.  The statement also said that an exemption would be introduced for extreme pre-Covid rent arrears cases, which has been announced today.

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    The government and councils are going to regret this, once these non payers are removed what landlord is going to touch them ever again, tenants with poor credit histories, no job, or an insecure job are going to struggle to find any landlord to take them on, still good news for the B&Bs that councils use to home the homeless, better an empty property than one with a feckless tenant in it

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    Will the banks be allowing those landlords with mortgages 'at least 9 months' time to pay as a result of tenants who find excuses not to pay? Unlikely.....

    • 17 November 2020 10:25 AM

    I bet the answer is an resounding NO!!!!!!

    Ingrid Mott

    We just take the payment holiday. Its fine as the missdd payments are simply added in to the mortgage term.

    My question is Why doesnt government pay the rent arrears and deduct a few quid each month from the tenant?
    . Its a social issue, not a landlord created problem.

  • Phil Priest

    In which other industry can you refuse to pay for 9 months yet still enjoy the fruits of the service?
    Being a landlord is a business, this is something that the government fail to recognize and each business relies on revenue. Why should a landlord provide a service to a client(tenant) that refuses to pay? if this were a builder he would be in the small claims court within days and he would more than likely get a payment.
    Unfortunately the landlords are the scape goats for the awful decision to have sold off the council houses under a help to buy scheme and not reinvest the money into developing more properties, as it was written into policy originally.


    Have you ever actually work in the real b2b world... You clearly haven't as youd know your statement was utter nonsense

    Ingrid Mott

    Quite agree with you Phil. It is not a Landlord problem. It is a Gov problem. Gov must pay up not shift it on we who paid out to supply rentals..


    I agree Phil, however there is nothing stopping you doing a ''money claim online'' just as that builder would do to a non payer .

  • Melanie Wright

    We are tenants and paid our ent without fail. Our landlord wanted to sell after 8years of living there & promised he would never do this. Covid hit & we couldn’t move. He harassed us through the next 3 months to the point of putting the rent up by £120 a month! We had a bungalow to go to but the people in that are not paying rent, & working. We were hoping the eviction on them would happen by October so as my husband became poorly from our landlord harassing us we decided to moved into our caravan. We are now having to spend Christmas as the courts are messing our landlady about!!! So frustrating!!


    Blame the likes of Shelter who protect the rent Dodgers who were preventing you from moving in - not your former landlord who was simply trying to run a business.

  • Matthew Payne

    How many landlords does this announcement actually benefit? How many tenancies would there have been in existence with 9 months arrears prior to 23rd March where the tenant had not already been evicted?

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    • 18 November 2020 15:12 PM

    Good question! Hardly any I would expect!
    For me, they would have a CCJ on them as soon as 60/62 days of non payment had been reached.


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