Eviction ban watered down in Coronavirus Emergency Bill

The three month outright eviction ban pledged to renters last week appears to have been watered down in the Coronavirus Emergency Bill passed by Parliament yesterday.

Last week, the government pledged to introduce a ‘complete ban on evictions and additional protections for renters’ affected by coronavirus.

However, the Coronavirus Bill merely extends the notice required for possession from two months to three: the Labour Party and campaign groups have complained about the change.

It’s unknown whether this was an error in drafting – the government is under extreme pressure currently – or an intentional change of mind.

This morning a Generation Rent spokeswoman said: “This legislation fails to deliver on these promises in every respect. All these measures do is extend the notice period for evictions to three months, which will provide little comfort to those faced with losing their homes in the midst of a pandemic.

“Equally worrying is the lack of provision made for rent arrears, which will stack up in the three month period. Many renters will end up with thousands of pounds worth of debt and no means of paying it off.

“Landlords and tenants are expected to ‘work together’ to find a solution to suit both parties from June onwards – but there’s absolutely nothing to stop landlords from evicting tenants if they can’t pay. Eviction is the leading cause of homelessness, so the government must act now to avoid another crisis in three months’ time.”

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