Support for tenants extended but with reduced notice periods

The Government has extended the protection from eviction to October, but has reduced the notice periods which renters must be given to end their tenancies from six to four months.

The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during the first lockdown, was due to end on 31 May.

Bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.

As part of a phased approach to return protections to pre-pandemic levels, the evictions ban has been extended until 1st October subject to public health advice and progress with implementing the Roadmap.

The measures will ensure renters continue to be protected with longer notice periods over the coming months, while allowing landlords to access justice – 45 per cent of private landlords own just one property and their income streams are highly vulnerable to rent arrears.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: “From the beginning of the pandemic, we have taken unprecedented action to protect renters and help keep them in their homes. As restrictions are eased in line with the Roadmap out of lockdown, we will ensure tenants continue to be supported with longer notice periods, while also balancing the need for landlords to access justice.”

Courts will continue to prioritise the most serious cases, such as those involving fraud or anti-social behaviour, with many of the evictions waiting to be enforced when the ban lifts predating the pandemic.

In May the Government announced that a White Paper will be published in the autumn that will set out proposals to create a fairer private rented sector that works for both landlords and tenants.

This includes proposals for the abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions to give tenants greater security and a new ‘lifetime deposit’ to ease the burden when moving house.

By Patrick Mooney, Editor