Landlords have welcomed the government’s announcement to end the eviction ban and reduce the notice period required for the private rental sector.
The news came late yesterday afternoon in a surprise statement from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
However, the National Residential Landlords Association says there remains work to be done by the government.
NRLA chief executive says: “Having operated under emergency conditions for over a year, today’s announcement from the Government is an important step in ensuring the sector’s recovery.
“It does nothing though to address the rent debt crisis. With the number of private tenants in arrears having increased threefold since lockdown measures started, more are at risk of losing their homes as restrictions ease.
“We want to see tenancies sustained wherever possible and call on the Chancellor to step in and provide affected tenants with the financial support they need to pay off rent arrears built as a result of the pandemic.”
Yesterday’s announcement covered notice periods - previously extended to six months as an emergency measure during the pandemic - which will be set at four months from June 1.
In addition the MHCLG confirmed that the current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, will end on May 31.
Bailiffs have for many months been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.
Activists’ group Generation Rent also called for cash help, with group director Baroness Alicia Kennedy saying: “When 353,000 private renters are in arrears, and the government still has no plan to clear their debts, loosening the restrictions on evictions is reckless.
“Renters who have lost income as a result of the pandemic are already struggling to find a home they can afford – if the government doesn’t intervene, thousands of homeless families could be turning to their council for help. We can’t build back better without financial support for the renters who have been hit hardest.
"The government must introduce a Covid Rent Debt Fund, allowing renters to clear their debts and landlords to claim for up to 80 per cent of income lost.”
Full details of the government announcement are here.
Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.