A complete ban on evictions and additional protection for landlords and renters
On 18 March 2020, the Government announced its plan to bring in emergency legislation to suspend new evictions in relation to both social and private rented accommodation while the national Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency is taking place.
The Government’s plan includes:
- Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking place
- No new possession proceedings through applications to the court to start during the crisis
- Landlords will also be protected as 3-month mortgage payment holiday is extended to Buy to Let mortgages
Emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.
At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.
Today, Landlord Advice UK received confirmation from Dartford County Court that all bailiff appointments for evictions are being cancelled and we would suspect this will now be the case across all courts meaning that possession orders already in place may be unenforceable through this crisis.
The Government has worked with the Master of the Rolls to widen the ‘pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings, to include private renters and to strengthen its remit. This will support the necessary engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes and landlords will have to reach out to tenants to understand the financial position they are in.
To support this announcement, Landlord Advice UK will be providing a dedicated service to help landlords work with their tenants through this difficult time. Landlords should take pro-active steps to request their tenants to immediately contact the landlord in the event they have contracted the Coronavirus and lost income as a result. Landlords should be accommodating and negotiate affordable payment plans for tenants through this difficult time to prevent rent arrears accumulating and to prevent the need for evictions due to rent arrears once the restrictions on evictions are lifted.
Once the draft legislation has been published, we publish further information as to how the ban on evictions will be enforced.
If your tenant is in rent arrears, please contact our team on 020 3903 2000 or [email protected]. Our team will respond to all e-mails within 48 hours.
Author: Landlord Advice UK
Date: 20th of March 2020