Renters in the social and private rented sectors affected by
coronavirus will continue to be protected after Housing Secretary
Robert Jenrick announced that the Government would extend the ban
on evictions for another four weeks.
The eviction ban was originally introduced in March 2020 for an
initial period of 3 months and was first extended in June 2020 for a further
2-month period and was due to come to an end on 23 August 2020.
However, in the last-minute announcement made on 21 August
2020, the Government have now decided to continue the
ban for a further 4 weeks taking the total period of the ban to 6
The Government also intends to give tenants greater protection
from eviction over the winter by requiring landlords to provide
tenants with a minimum six months' notice in all bar those cases
raising other serious issues such as those involving anti-social
behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators, until at least the end
- The ban on evictions continues for four weeks taking the total
ban to 6 months
- New six-month notice periods to be in place until at least 31
- Once eviction hearings restart, the Judiciary will carefully
prioritise the most serious cases including those involving
anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse
ARCH has been involved in discussions with Housing Ministry
officials regarding a potential "voluntary pledge" to help protect
and sustain the tenancies of those tenants directly affected by
loss of income due to Coronavirus and had also been involved in the
Working Group set up by the Master of the Rolls to consider the
categories of cases that would be prioritised when hearings were
expected to resume after the 23 August. The late announcement by
the Secretary of State of a further 4-week extension linked to the
requirement for a six-month notice period came as a surprise.
ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby comments:
"Council house rents are, on average, considerably lower than
rents in the private rented sector and tenants in the private
rented sector often pay a high proportion of their incomes in rent.
When that income is significantly reduced, either through furlough
or through redundancy, most tenants will struggle - particularly
if, as is the case in many areas, the Local Housing Allowance rates
(currently set at only 30th percentile of market rents
in the area) are insufficient to cover the weekly rent charged by
"Evictions in the council housing sector are very much seen as a
last resort and most councils already have in place arrangements to
directly support those tenants who want to pay but are unable to
pay their rent to help enable them to sustain their tenancies."
"However some landlords in the private rented sector rely on the
rental income to supplement their own incomes and/or to meet
repayments on buy to let mortgages taken out on the properties and
will have little choice but to seek repossession if their tenants
simply cannot afford to pay."
"The further extension of the eviction ban, and the requirement
to give an extended six-month notice period when the ban comes to
an end, will do nothing to assist those tenants who now quite
simply cannot afford to pay their rent. The extension of the ban
and the longer notice period is merely erecting a temporary "dam"
to hold back the flow of cases that are expected to hit the courts
sooner or later".
"That flow could become a torrent or, worse still, become a
Tsunami that will threaten to overwhelm local authority
homelessness teams - simply building a bigger dam to try to
hold back the cases reaching the courts will ultimately do nothing
to prevent the flow of cases."
"Latest figures show that before the Lockdown measures hit,
there were already 93,000 homeless households living in temporary
accommodation at the 31 March 2020 - up 9.4% on the 31
March 2019! If we are to avoid a Tsunami of homelessness much
more needs to be done "upstream" in the form of financial help to
those tenants whose incomes have been directly affected by the
Coronavirus pandemic and who genuinely have been unable to pay
"In making the announcement the Secretary of State said the
Government remain committed to bringing forward reforms to provide
greater security to tenants and promised to bring forward
legislation in due course, once the urgencies of responding to the
pandemic have passed, to deliver a better deal for renters and a
fairer more effective rental market. That I am afraid will be too
late and the Government must act now to provide greater security to
tenants in the private rented sector and in particular to end so
called "Section 21" no fault evictions."