Further extension to ban on evictions in England

Today, 10 March 2021, Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced a further extension to the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions and the requirement for landlords to provide six-month notice periods to tenants before they evict.

The initial ban on evictions in England was introduced at the start of the pandemic, previous extensions pushed the end date to 31 March 2021, the new extension will now be in place until 31 May 2021. The UK Government outlines that measures will be kept under review in line with the latest public health advice. 

The UK Government will consider the best approach to move away from emergency protections from the beginning of June, taking into account public health advice and the wider roadmap.

Exemptions to the eviction ban

Exemptions remain in place for the most serious circumstances that cause the greatest strain on landlords as well as other residents and neighbours, these include:

  • illegal occupation
  • false statement
  • anti-social behaviour
  • where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant
  • extreme rent arrears

Six-month notice periods

The requirement for landlords to provide six-month notice periods to tenants before they evict will also be extended until at least 31 May 2021, meaning that most renters now served notice can stay in the property until at least December 2021.

Financial support for tenants

Councils also have access to an existing £180 million of funding through Discretionary Housing Payments which can be distributed to renters to support them with their housing costs.

Eviction court proceedings

The Court rules and procedures introduced in September will remain in place and regularly reviewed, with courts continuing to prioritise the most cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation and perpetrators of domestic abuse. 

For claims issued before 3 August 2020, the service of a reactivation notice has been extended to 30 April 2021.

View announcement UK Government website  →

The UK Government has yet again extended the ban on evictions in England, without putting any additional and specific measures in place to support the sector. With the furlough scheme extended until September, it is likely that we will see further changes in the months ahead. To this end, we urge the UK Government to consider a wider strategy and plan for how the sector can deal with rent arrears and the backlog of eviction cases, to avoid a mounting crisis.

As the impact of COVID-19 continues to bite with household debt and unemployment rates rising, we remain concerned about how tenants will avoid future rent arrears and landlords will remain incentivised to stay in the market. Rather than short term measures that are not helping those renters that need it most, the UK Government must focus on providing long-term support to help renters clear the debt and arrears they have built up during the pandemic.

Timothy Douglas Policy and Campaigns Manager | Propertymark

Propertymark's COVID-related rent arrears campaign

Propertymark continues to focus on campaigning for Government support for COVID-related rent arrears in England in order to #keeptherentflowing.

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