To prevent landlords from evicting tenants in England, emergency measures were extended by the Government again on Wednesday, just weeks before they expire.
Restrictions on evictions from residential properties have been extended from 31 March to 31 May 2021. In practice, this means that the court bailiff cannot act even where a landlord has a possession order.
Evictions will remain banned in all but the most extreme circumstances, while landlords are required to provide a six-month notice period for tenants facing eviction.
The bailiff eviction extension is disappointing news for thousands of landlords who have been waiting to evict their tenants. Some landlords want to sell up; others have tenants waiting to take a tenancy.
Landlords can still serve section 8 & 21 notices, and possession claims can be issued.
The ban is on the last leg of the possession claim process – The court bailiff.
A ban on evictions for commercial landlords was extended until 30 June 2021. The Government claims this will allow businesses time to start back up under the roadmap for re-opening.
Mr Sajjad Ahmad, the CEO of the British Landlords Association, said: “The further extension will have a tumbleweed effect and fails to address the rent debt crisis.”
“The Government is creating a housing crisis that local authorities are ill-prepared for. Some local authorities have been struggling to deal with homeless applications even before the pandemic. We are sleepwalking towards a growing housing crisis, and the Governments response is to keep kicking the tumbleweed down the road by extended and extending the inevitable.”
“We call on the Chancellor and the housing minister to help tenants and landlords alike in a positive drive to address the housing crisis.”
The COVID-19 scheme, which prevents landlords from evicting or pursuing a debt against commercial tenants during the coronavirus pandemic, was introduced in March 2020. This was ban was due to end March 2021, after it was extended in December 2020.
Business secretary, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, said: “We’re doing everything we can to ensure businesses get the support they need to get through this pandemic and re-open when it is safe to do so. I know business owners will welcome this latest package of support and the breathing space it will give them to prepare for a safe re-opening and, ultimately, to build back better.”
The Government plans to sanction a road map on commercial rents to help monitor the overall progress of negotiations between tenants and landlords.
The data gleaned from this will allow the Government to take appropriate steps after 30 June. This could include a phased withdrawal of current protections to legislative options targeted at those businesses most affected by the pandemic.
Melanie Leech, CEO of the British Property Federation, said: “New, stronger relationships have been built through this process. Nevertheless, there is a minority where relationships have broken down and become toxic. The continuation of the moratorium will do nothing to unlock the stalemate and allow the market to reset and recover.
She added: “As they prepare to re-open, in premises which property owners and their agents have kept safe and well-maintained, the scandal of those well-capitalised businesses who can pay rent, but have chosen not to, cannot be allowed to continue. Their behaviour has raided our nation’s pensions and savings invested in commercial property and has been a heavy blow for already stretched local authority landlords and public finances.”
Mr Sasha Charles, a director of Landlord Advice UK, one of the leading tenant eviction companies in the UK, said: “We see a worrying trend that has been increasingly prevalent in the last 6 months. Landlords are seeking to evict tenants to sell up. They feel enough is enough.”
“We see two types of tenants those who do not have the means to pay the rent and others who have the means to pay but don’t want to.”
“Those who don’t want to pay frequently say, we know the law I don’t have to pay and tell the landlord, do whatever you want. The eviction ban seems to be a green light for some renters not to pay.”
Author: Amanda Goldsmith firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 111th of March 2021
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