The nation is on lockdown again and 19 incidents are at an all-time high for Covid. With a new version spreading quickly, we were all asked once again to stay home.
The prospect of driving tenants out of their homes is unlikely, but the government has not yet secured tenants from evictions. Starting Monday, bailiffs will be able to remove tenants from their homes again, and the courts will remain available for evictions to be processed. To keep tenants in their houses, the government needs to do whatever it can. With the first nationwide lockdown, the government did the right thing.
It paused all court proceedings, ensuring there could be no evictions.
But landlords could also issue notices of eviction that landed in renters’ mailboxes who were unable to keep up with payments.
One in three tenants has lost revenue since the first lockdown, and an estimated 840,000 are behind on payments, meaning even more people will now be at risk of eviction than in March 2020. To protect tenants, the government must now prohibit evictions for the duration of the lockdown.
A full ban on evictions indicates that all court cases as well as bailiff acts are paused.
Tenants should not be required to take part in proceedings that should place their health at risk. Online proceedings can seriously disadvantage tenants, especially the many who face inequality and disadvantage.
And we also need a targeted package of steps to fix rent arrears now to stop evictions when the restrictions are lifted. The government has already done the right thing once. In the midst of this crisis, we encourage Ministers to move urgently to protect the welfare of tenants and the general public. On behalf of the Renters Reform Alliance, Bridget Young.