Eviction ban extended - but campaigners say this still isn't enough

Eviction ban extended - but campaigners say this still isn't enough

by Tom Martin (August 2020)

CAMPAIGNERS are calling for a ban on evictions to be extended further with fears it could lead to more homelessness.

Landlords won’t be able to evict tenants in Sefton until September 20 after the government announced an extension to the ban, which was due to end in August.

A five month pause on evictions brought on by lockdown was due to end on August 23, but fears were raised that thousands of people in England could lose their homes and the government made a last minute U-turn.

Despite the delay, there are still calls to do more to stop evictions when the ban is eventually lifted later this month.

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, said: “We know that one of the main causes of homelessness is an end to a shorthold tenancy.  Lifting the ban on evictions will only delay the inevitable, resulting in more people living on the streets at a time when government has worked with the homelessness sector bring people in during the pandemic.

“We need to see solutions, rather than action that bolsters the problems.  Extending the evictions ban to the end of the calendar year, providing grants to tenants to cover the cost of their housing, and funding holistic support for individuals, are all things that government can do to prevent an increase in homelessness this winter and keep everyone in for good.”

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said he was "supporting renters over winter" amid the ongoing effects of the coronavirus outbreak adding that, when the ban was lifted, the most serious cases of anti-social behaviour, other crimes, and unpaid rent for over a year would be dealt with first.

However, a landlords' group described the blanket extension as "unacceptable".

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: "Landlords have been left powerless in exercising their legal right to deal with significant arrears unrelated to Covid-19, anti-social behaviour and extremely disruptive tenants who make life miserable for their neighbours and housemates. Private landlords cannot be expected to foot the bill for government failure."

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