Government extends evictions ban

Government extends evictions ban
Jan 19 , 2021

The government has announced a further extension of the eviction ban until 21st February, at which point it will be reviewed.


Although this is cataclysmic news for the thousands of landlords waiting to evict tenants via a bailiff, the government has heeded the NRLA’s calls or a widening of the circumstances when evictions can go ahead.


It is understood that landlords will be able to enforce possession orders if their tenants are more than six months in arrears irrespective of when the arrears accrued and therefore no longer have to pre-date Covid.


Other enforcement exceptions remains in place including domestic violence and anti-social behaviour.


At the moment landlords can initiate possession claims via the court system and be granted orders after the courts re-opened in September, but since early November bailiffs in England and Wales have only been able to execute possession orders for a narrow set of reasons including extreme rent arrears and domestic violence.


“The repossessions ban is a sticking plaster that will ultimately lead to more people losing their homes,” says Ben Beadle (pictured), Chief Executive of the NRLA.


“It means tenants’ debts will continue to mount to the point where they have no hope of paying them off leading eventually to them having to leave their home.


“Instead the government should recognise the crisis facing many tenants and take immediate action to enable them to pay their debts as is happening in Scotland and Wales. The objective should be to sustain tenancies in the long term and not just the short term.”


LandlordZONE also understands that the new six-month limit on arrears will be retrospective, so landlords who have court orders pending will not be able to proceed if their rent arrears are older than six months.


The announcement has been widely expected since Boris Johnson announced the new national lockdown, after which a growing chorus of political and housing figures and organisations have been calling for the government to act.


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