The Government announced yesterday that the ban on evictions has been extended until the 31st March 2021.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), comments: “(Yesterday’s) announcement does nothing to help over 800,000 private renters who have built rent arrears since lockdown measures started last year. It means debts will continue to mount to the point where they have no hope of paying them off. It will lead eventually to them having to leave their home and face serious damage to their credit scores.
“The Government needs to get a grip and do something about the debt crisis renters and landlords are now facing. A package of hardship loans and grants is needed as a matter of urgency. To expect landlords and tenants simply to muddle through without further support is a strategy that has passed its sell-by date.”
Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent, has commented: “It is right that the eviction ban is being renewed while the country remains in lockdown. It would be dangerous to allow people to be made homeless when everyone else is being told to stay at home.
“But courts are still approving eviction claims where the landlord doesn’t need a reason, despite the Government’s promise to prioritise only ‘the most egregious cases’. That means a cliff edge for renters who are facing eviction because their landlord is selling up or whose reduced income doesn’t cover the rent.
“We need a COVID Rent Debt Fund to clear the debts of renters whose incomes have been hit by the lockdown, but the Government must also suspend ‘no-fault’ Section 21 evictions so blameless renters don’t lose their homes as a result of the pandemic.”