The government in England has announced an extension to the ban as half a million people are at risk of homelessness
Landlords in England have condemned the government’s COVID-19 eviction ban and its extension, saying it does not take into account how property owners could themselves fall victim to the economic fallout from the pandemic.
Not all landlords are rich, some have lost their jobs and many are relying on rent as their main source of income, an eviction and housing law specialist says, after a ban on evictions in England was extended by another four weeks.
A ban on evictions has been in place since March to prevent a sudden rise in private renters becoming homeless as the economy was bought to a standstill during COVID-19. The government in England has announced an extension to the ban which was due to expire on August 23, following a similar decision in Wales and longer extensions in both Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs because of COVID-19, with those claiming government benefits increasing by six times the normal rate to nearly two million.
However, landlords say they not been afforded enough protection and some feel that they are being held hostage by tenants.
Half a million people are at risk of eviction and homelessness, according to charities and councils, the government may have extended the ban on evictions but given there is already a backlog of 40,000 cases that could take a year for county courts to deal with, how long could the current situation go on for?
There are an estimated 2.66 million landlords in Britain with 4.5 million households in England living in rented accommodation.
Homeless charity Shelter said that at the end of June some 174,000 renters had been warned by their landlord that they faced eviction.
It also estimated that a quarter of a million renters had fallen behind on their rent within that same time period.
The District Council’s Network, a cross-party network of 187 councils across the UK has also warned of a “cliff-edge” scenario.
The network warned that nearly half a million people who spend over half their income on rent could be at risk of eviction if the ban ended this week. Among the most vulnerable were lone parents and 16 to 24-year-olds.
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