John Healey MP, the shadow housing secretary, called on other MP’s to support an introduction of an eviction ban, for tenants who are affected by the Coronavirus. The emergency legislation is due to be tabled this week.
Labour is seeking a ban on eviction
Labour, wants to change the law, to prevent landlords from regaining possession of properties if tenants fall into rent arrears, due to Coronavirus. Labour is seeking the ban, to eviction for periods 1 March and 1 September, with powers to extend if required.
If this legislation is passed, It will offer protection to at least 8.5 million households. The ban is likely to protect all private tenants, housing association or council tenants. Labour believes, those tenants who may face financial hardship, who have to self-isolate, should have protection from eviction.
Most tenants have no savings
If tenants do have to self-isolate, most do not have the means to service the rent. Governments figures reveal that Two-thirds of private tenants and more than eight, in 10, social tenants, have no savings to help them.
Mr Healey said: “The coronavirus pandemic requires a rapid response, from the government, to protect families.”
“Our current threadbare legal safety net, means tenants are vulnerable to eviction if they get ill, and fall behind on their rent. The fear of being evicted may also mean workers are reluctant to stay off work and self-isolate.
“Our emergency legislation would protect tenants from eviction, and we urge the government to work with us to adopt it and implement it at the earliest opportunity”.
Emergency financial protections
The Labour party has already called for a list of emergency financial protections, for workers such as mortgage holidays, higher statutory sick pay, and income protection, for low-paid and self-employed workers.
The concern, the Labour party say, is that tenants may be forced to work for financial reasons, rather than self-isolating, to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Banning Eviction has support
Mr Jeff White, a private landlord, said: “I do accept we need to take care of tenants, who are sitting in their house right now, and wondering what the hell they’re going to do, with not being able to work and bills mounting. I get it; the Labour proposal makes sense.”
Banning eviction due to Coronavirus is not a unique idea; it is being considered by many countries effected by Coronavirus. Nearly all the states in the USA, are considering, or have already taken steps to financial support tenants.
British Landlords Association, free national landlords association
Author: Marc Attwater
Date: 17th of March 2020