15:50 PM, 21st August 2020, About A year ago 30
Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has bowed to pressure from all sides and extended the eviction ban in England by 4 weeks to the 20th September and increased the minimum notice period for renters to 6 months.
Jenrick, said“I know this year has been challenging and all of us are still living with the effects of COVID-19. That is why today I am announcing a further 4 week ban on evictions, meaning no renters will have been evicted for six months,” says Jenrick.
“I am also increasing protections for renters – six month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter.
“However, it is right that the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, begin to be heard in court again; and so when courts reopen, landlords will once again be able to progress these priority cases.”
Policy and Campaigns Manager for ARLA Propertymark, Timothy Douglas, said:
“Now that the ban on evictions has been extended, the government must use this time to introduce further guidance and prepare the sector. It is important to take steps back towards normality so that both landlords and tenants have access to the justice system, while putting measures in place to offer further support to tenants who have built up COVID-related arrears, and this four-week extension will give the government the time to introduce such measures.
“Additionally, given the backlog of cases already facing courts, it’s key that the government introduces sufficient guidance during this period to enable eviction proceedings to begin again smoothly and fairly when the ban is lifted.”
Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate, said: “It is right for the government not to lift the ban when it risks exposing people to eviction and the threat of homelessness with no means of defence.
“The government must use this short window of time wisely to put proper safeguards in place for renters.”
Law Society president Simon Davis said: “Today, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) announced that it would be extending the stay on evictions for a further four weeks, until 20 September. However, tenants are still required to pay their rent and landlords are still able to serve a notice of eviction, with a new six-month notice period.”*
“The government first brought in these measures on 26 March 2020, for an initial period of three months. The stay was then extended on 5 June until 24 August and has now been extended again so vulnerable tenants can get the help they need, and courts can continue to make the necessary arrangements.
“The government and the courts have passed new court rules and provided extra protections to vulnerable tenants and those who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.
“However, more needs to be done, including resolving the legal aid deserts currently preventing tenants in some areas from receiving legal advice and making wider legislative changes to prevent a spike in homelessness.”
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