The ban on residential evictions will be extended until 20 September 2020 and a new six-month notice period will be imposed until at least 31 March 2021, it has been announced.
The extension means that no residential tenant has been legally evicted for rent arrears throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The new lengthy notice period, meanwhile, will give tenants greater protection from evictions by requiring landlords to provide renters with “at least six months’ notice in all cases, except where they involve anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.
This has been increased from the usual notice period of two months.
When legal evictions resume, it is believed courts will prioritise cases where landlords have not received rent for over a year and those with an anti-social behaviour or other criminal element.
Commenting on the announcement, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I know this year has been challenging and all of us are still living with the effects of COVID-19. That is why today I am announcing a further four week ban on evictions, meaning no renters will have been evicted for six months.
“I am also increasing protections for renters – six month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter.
“However, it is right that the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, begin to be heard in court again; and so when courts reopen, landlords will once again be able to progress these priority cases.”
According to the latest statistics, some 87 per cent of residential tenants have continued to pay full rent despite the pandemic, while eight per cent have agreed reduced fees or a rent-free period with their landlord. The remaining five per cent have fallen into arrears.
If you are a residential tenant or landlord and require legal advice, please get in touch with our expert team today.