The government has announced a new extension to the current ban on evictions in England until May 31st 2021 in an attempt to bring further security to commercial and residential tenants as we enter what is hoped to be the tail end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government has stated that, from the start of June, the ban will taper off. Exactly what form this tapering will take has not yet been announced. Instead, the government has just said it “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”.
The extension means landlords must provide a six-month notice period before they evict tenants (except in some extreme circumstances, listed below) until ‘at least’ the May 31st
Reaction to the news has been predictably split between landlords and tenants. Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, has 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 are unwilling to listen to the voices of those most affected.
“If the Chancellor wants to avoid causing a homelessness crisis, he must develop an urgent financial package including interest-free, government-guaranteed loans to help tenants in arrears to pay off rent debts built since March 2020.”
While the extension does a lot to protect tenants from being made homeless, there are still circumstances where landlords are allowed to force an eviction. They are:
- Anti-social behaviour (landlord must provide four weeks’ notice)
- False statements provided by the tenant (landlord must provide two to four weeks’ notice)
- Over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears (landlord must provide four weeks’ notice)
- Breach of immigration rules under the ‘Right to Rent’ policy (landlord must provide three months’ notice).