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Extended eviction ban on residential property to end

The extended eviction ban in the private and social rented sector comes to an end on 23 August, with no further extension planned.

Confirmation came in a parliamentary statement in response to Baroness Altmann, who had asked about provisions to help the private landlords who had been unable to reclaim possession of their properties, despite having obtained legal possession orders before evictions were suspended back in March.

Housing Minister, Lord Greenhalgh said: “From August 24 2020, the courts will begin to process possession cases again.

“This is an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.

“Work is underway with the judiciary, legal representatives and the advice sector on arrangements, including new rules, to ensure that judges have all the information necessary to make just decisions and that the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”

Sarah Naylor, partner and head of commercial and property at Atherton Godfrey, commented: “Precisely what this “work with the judiciary” looks like remains to be seen; it may be some sort of pre-action protocol.

“In addition to the new evictions, there are already those that are yet to work through the system. Whether courts have the capacity to deal with this influx of cases is another thing.

“Regardless of the obstacles, we will continue to work closely with our landlord clients to ensure they operate within the law, particularly in these difficult times.”

Ben Beadle, CEO of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “We have every sympathy with tenants who face genuine difficulties because of the loss of income due to the coronavirus crisis and nearly all landlords are working with tenants who are struggling to keep them in their home.”

Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, added: “The ban hasn’t stopped people who have lost their jobs during this pandemic from racking up rent arrears. Even if they have a plan to pay them back, these debts will throw struggling renters straight back into the firing line of an automatic eviction as soon as the ban lifts.”

Lodgers can be evicted without a court order. However, landlords should still give reasonable notice that they want them to leave.

Tenants struggling to pay rent – It’s worth checking that you are receiving all the financial help you are entitled to. This may include universal credit which can include a local housing allowance that covers around 30% of the lowest rent in your area.

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