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Eviction ban extended to May

The government has extended the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions until the end of May.

Landlords currently have to give tenants six months’ notice of their intention to evict – and this will continue to be the case until at least 31 May.

Eviction court hearings and orders can still take place, while courts are prioritising the most serious cases, like those involving domestic abuse and fraud.

The government has also extended a ban on commercial evictions to 30 June.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “It is right that as we move through the road map, we ensure that businesses and renters continue to be supported.

“We have taken unprecedented action to support both commercial and residential tenants throughout the pandemic – with a £280bn economic package to keep businesses running and people in jobs and able to meet their outgoings, such as rent.

“These measures build on the government’s action to provide financial support as restrictions are lifted over the coming months – extending the furlough scheme, business rates holiday and the Universal Credit uplift.”

David Greene, president of the Law Society, said: “We welcome the news that some tenants who are struggling and would otherwise be facing eviction will be able to stay in their homes until the summer, particularly given the lockdown, the new variants of the virus and the vaccine programme working its way across England.

“However, it should be noted that those with significant rent arrears are exempt from the ban, and, as time goes on, it’s likely that more tenants will be evicted as a result of increasing amounts of overdue rent. Eventually, fewer tenants will be protected by the ban and may become homeless.

“When the government begins to taper off these measures on 1 June, it needs to ensure protection is given to both tenants and landlords and ensure legal aid is available to as many tenants as possible.”