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The government extends tenant evictions ban until the summer

2-minute read

Mollie Millman

23 March 2021

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With lockdown largely remaining in place over the coming months, the government has once again extended the tenant evictions ban.

This latest extension means that tenant evictions will be banned until the end of May.

So, landlords need to continue to give tenants six months’ notice before they can repossess a property, except in exceptional circumstances.

Exceptional circumstances include, for example, a tenant being in at least six months of rental arrears – in which case, a landlord only needs to give four weeks’ notice.

The current restrictions on notice periods will begin to taper off from the start of June.

It follows Boris Johnson’s announcement of the ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown, with restrictions gradually being eased.

How the roadmap affects the rental market

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “We welcome clarification that emergency measures in the rental market will be phased out in tandem with the overall roadmap out of lockdown restrictions.

“That said, the further extension to the repossessions ban will do nothing to help those landlords and tenants financially hit due to the pandemic.

“Given the cross-sector consensus for the need to address the rent debt crisis, it suggests the government is unwilling to listen to the voices of those most affected.”

He called on the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to develop a financial package including interest-free, government-guaranteed loans to help tenants in arrears to pay off rent debts built since March 2020.

“Without this, more tenants face losing their homes, and many will carry damaged credit scores, making it more difficult to rent in the future,” he said.

Commercial evictions banned to help support businesses

The government has also extended the commercial evictions ban for another three months until 30 June, to ensure businesses remain supported as they re-open.

This extension falls short of the furlough extension until the end of September this year.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “We have taken unprecedented action to support both commercial and residential tenants throughout the pandemic – with a £280 billion economic package to keep businesses running and people in jobs and able to meet their outgoings, such as rent.

“These measures build on the government’s action to provide financial support as restrictions are lifted in the coming months – extending the furlough scheme, business rates holiday and the Universal Credit uplift.”

What do you think about the government’s latest announcement? Let us know in the comments below.

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