Government reveals further information on eviction ban | Strategic Network news

Government reveals further information on eviction ban

The government has released more information on the eviction ban.

The ban was extended to 20 September as government came under heavy pressure from campaign groups to ensure renters were protected during Covid-19.

However, landlords hit out at the "unaccpetable" extension.

But in a bid to appease some of the concerns from landlords, government has now issued some further guidance on the ban.

The changes mean that from 29 August, landlords must provide at least 6 months’ notice period prior to seeking possession through the courts in most cases, including  section 21 evictions and rent arrears under six months.

Notices served on and before 28 August are not affected by these changes, and must be at least three months.

However the other changes to the "most serious" cases are as follows:

  • anti-social behaviour (now 4 weeks’ notice)
  • domestic abuse (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • false statement (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears (now 4 weeks’ notice)
  • breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (now 3 months’ notice)

In addition, new court rules have been agreed, which will come into force on 20 September meaning landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.

Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick, said: “We have developed a package of support for renters to ensure they continue to be protected over winter. I have changed the law so that renters are protected by a 6 month notice period until March 2021.

“No tenant will have been legally evicted for 6 months at the height of the pandemic as the stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September.

“For the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, notice periods have returned to their normal level, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.

“These changes will support landlords to progress the priority cases while keeping the public safe over winter.  We will keep these measures under review and decisions will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice.”

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association said: “Today’s announcement provides welcome clarity about how possession cases will be handled. However, it will mean nothing without a complete guarantee that the courts will hear cases from 20th September.

“It is disappointing that the Government has so far failed to heed the warnings of the NRLA and others that a financial package is needed to pay-off rent arrears built due to COVID. In the end this is the best way to sustain tenancies. We will continue to campaign hard for this important measure.”