Eviction ban extended to May 31

With the evictions ban extended to May 31, there are more calls for Government help for both tenants and landlords left hanging on by their fingertips.

Looking beyond May 31, a government statement said: "The government 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.”

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association 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.”  

The evictions ban, first announced in March 2020 and passed into law in the Coronavirus Act 2020, has led to a series of announcements from the government. The intention has been to protect vulnerable tenants during the crisis. The ban on evictions meant landlords and tenants were encouraged to find a compromise.

This collaborative approach will continue with new temporary changes to the possession action process, designed to alleviate pressures on the courts now that possession proceedings have restarted, with extended notice periods in most cases of six months until at least 31 May 2021.

Until May 31 private landlords will need to continue to give tenants six months’ notice before they can repossess properties, except in the following circumstances:

- Anti-social behaviour (four weeks’ notice)

- False statements provided by the tenant (two to four weeks’ notice)

- Over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears (four weeks’ notice)

- Breach of immigration rules under the ‘Right to Rent’ policy (three months’ notice).