Yesterday afternoon the Government announced that the ban on evictions for residential tenants in England will be extended until 31st May.
The Government reports that the requirement for landlords to provide a 6-month notice period before evicting a tenant will also be extended to at least 31st May. It plans to consider how to move away from these emergency protections from the start of June.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP commented: “It is right that as we move through the roadmap, we ensure that businesses and renters continue to be supported.
“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 over the coming months – extending the furlough scheme, business rates holiday and the Universal Credit uplift.
Responding to this announcement, Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), 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 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. This is vital for those who do not qualify for benefit support. Without this, more tenants face losing their homes, and many will carry damaged credit scores, making it more difficult to rent in the future and causing huge pressure on local authorities when they can least manage it.”