Tenant evictions won’t be enforced during lockdown

Evictions won’t be enforced until at least 11th January 2021, while there will be no bailiff enforcement action, the government has announced.

Six month notice periods will remain in place until at least the end of March 2021.

The exception to this rule will be the most serious cases, including where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or are the perpetrator of domestic abuse in social housing.

Robert Jenrick, housing secretary, said: “We have already taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic including introducing a six month notice period and financial support to help those struggling to pay their rent.

“We are now going further by protecting renters from eviction during the new national restrictions and throughout the Christmas period – with a pause on bailiff activity other than in the most serious circumstances, such as anti-social behaviour or fraud.

“Striking the right balance between helping tenants in need while ensuring landlords have access to justice in the most serious cases.”

Courts will remain open during the second lockdown.

Timothy Douglas, policy and campaigns manager, ARLA Propertymark, said: “The UK government has yet again extended the ban on evictions in England and this will come as a further blow to our members.

“It will cause further distress on landlords who are currently dealing with ongoing rental arrears and add further pressure on the courts to manage the back log of cases.

“Letting agents and the whole of the private rented sector have been impacted as a result of Covid-19 and the UK government must recognise that this is hitting both landlords and tenants financially.

“There needs to be a coordinated approach that better supports the needs of the industry and measures are put in place to further support tenants who have built up Covid-related arrears through no fault of their own.”