Two Month Extension For Evictions Ban – Comfort For Tenants

On Friday 5th June the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced the government’s two month extension to tenant eviction bans in England and Wales. Obviously this will give some renters in financial difficulties some comfort in the knowledge that they will not have to ‘leave’ their homes over the summer.

However there is very little thought given to those unlucky landlords who have not yet received a single penny in rent over the past few months, and this announcement will only offer them cold comfort knowing that they could have to wait at least another nine weeks before they can take the appropriate steps.

The extension will continue from June 25th until August 23rd which means no new eviction proceedings or existing ones throughout England and Wales, in both the private and social renting sectors can be started or completed.

The evictions ban started in March to help protect vulnerable tenants throughout the pandemic.

Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley, as well as the creator of an automated letting platform, said: “There’s no doubt that thousands of renters that are suffering financial difficulty will be happy to hear the news from the government and will now feel more secure in their homes.

“With all of the uncertainty going on at the moment, tenants deserve to be protected by the government from evictions that could be through no fault of their own, and could well be down to financial hardship brought on by being furloughed or losing their job altogether, but this needs to be balanced by proving that their income has gone down.”

No one can predict what the government’s plans for the eviction ban will be towards the end of August, and whether there will be a further extension.

She continued:“The worry is that many landlords are retired, according to the English Private Landlord Survey, as many as 33% are.

“These landlords may well not have a mortgage to claim a repayment holiday on, rely on property income and without rent or furlough monies may struggle to survive.”

Bowring added: “Looking at the long term, the government may need to consider other ways of financially supporting households post-crisis. For example, through higher housing benefit payments as clearly the high cost of the furlough scheme means it cannot last indefinitely.

“Tenants and landlords should be working together in what is a difficult time for everybody, and should not use the eviction ban as an excuse to mistreat the property they live in or withhold rent if they are not in a genuinely financially difficult situation.

“Some renters may need more financial assistance from the government but cancelling rents as some have suggested or getting the government to pay would be hugely damaging.”

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