Labour wants no evictions for arrears run up during crisis

Labour says the government should ban evictions for people who fall behind on their rent due to Coronavirus.

John Healey, the shadow housing secretary, is publishing draft legislation which Labour is urging the government to adopt immediately.

The new law would mean any non-payment of rent due to Coronavirus would not count as legal grounds for eviction.

The party claims it would cover over 20m people – eight and a half million households – who rent their homes from private, council or housing association landlords, including three million households with children.

A statement from the party says: “The move would bar landlords from evicting tenants who are off work and not getting paid due to Coronavirus, by changing the legal basis on which landlords can seize possession of a rented property to exclude arrears which have built up due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.”

It would initially cover any arrears that accumulate between March 1 and September 1 “with the option to be extended as necessary.”

Labour says two thirds of private renters and more than eight in 10 social renters have no savings, according to government data.

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