Friday, September 25, 2020
Landlords

New law to curb evictions in lockdown areas or over winter

lockdown

Around 590,000 tenants are in rent debt, which amounts to an average of £1,076 per household, according to research from StepChange

Renters won’t be evicted in lockdown areas or over Christmas, according to a new law. The rules are part of a series of new measures to protect renters.

The government has changed the law to increase notice periods to six months, meaning renters won’t be evicted over winter.

It also extended the ban on serving eviction notices by four weeks, which ends on September 20.

After then landlords will have to give renters six months notice, which means they won’t have to move out until March 2021.

But the rules don’t apply where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or committed fraud, for example.

Housing Secretary  Robert Jenrick said: We have protected renters during the pandemic by banning evictions for six months – the longest eviction ban in the UK. To further support renters we have increased notice periods to six months, an unprecedented measure to help keep people in their homes over the winter months.

It’s right that we strike a balance between protecting vulnerable renters and ensuring landlords whose tenants have behaved in illegal or anti-social ways have access to justice, he said.

Research from debt charity StepChange shows around 590,000 tenants are in rent debt, with an average of £1,076 per household.

Meanwhile housing charity Shelter said 120,000 tenants in rent debt have already been issued an eviction notice – 175,000 of which have been threatened with eviction.

A landlord can ask a private tenant to move out by issuing a Section 21 or Section 8 notice at the end of tenancy.

A Section 21 notice is commonly referred to as a “no-fault eviction” as landlords don’t need to give a reason for asking a tenant to leave home.

With a Section 8 notice, landlords have to have grounds for the eviction.

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