The Government has announced that the current ban on evictions of renters in social or private accommodation will be extended.

In March, the Government announced a three-month ban on evictions to protect renters in social or private accommodation from being forced out of their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. This ban has now been extended by two months to August 23.

Landlords who were seeking to evict tenants for non-payment of rent at the end of this month will continue to have their hands tied for the time being. However, it is important to remember that tenants are still liable for rent during this period.

Practical Steps

The Government has suggested that where tenants are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the parties should work together to exhaust all possible options, such as flexible payment plans to take into account individual circumstances before resorting to the courts.

In the meantime, a working group has been formed to consider relevant matters for when the current stay on possession proceedings is lifted, including the preparation of the courts for the lifting of the stay and how best to support the parties in litigation.

It remains to be seen whether the Government will put in place further protections for tenants who have racked up rent arrears to prevent a flurry of eviction proceedings once the ban has been lifted.

The above reflects guidance as at July 7, 2020. We will continue to update this as the situation develops. While we aim to release updates as quickly as possible, it is important that readers check the latest Government advice for further updates.

  • David Marsden is a partner at award-winning law firm VWV, which has offices in Clarendon Road, Watford