As part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a ban on evicting tenants was introduced in order to protect renters during the pandemic.
Prior to the ban, tenants who accrue rent arrears of eight or more weeks could automatically be evicted.
According to Shelter, a housing charity, there are 227,000 people who have fallen into rent arrears in recent months and face losing their homes. There is a particular worry that this number will increase when the government’s furlough scheme ends later this year.
The freeze on evictions is scheduled to be lifted on Sunday, 23rd August in England and the government so far have announced no plans to extend it.
However, the government is being urged to extend the eviction ban. Labour is calling for the government to extend its freeze on eviction processes in England.
Wales has already extended its eviction protections and Scotland has proposed doing so as well. The Welsh government launched a new tenant loan scheme for the private sector tenants with arrears and who are not on benefits.
It will not apply to those with significant arrears prior to March. The money will be paid directly to the landlord or agent and the tenant will be able to pay back the loan over five years.
Whether or not the English government follows a similar procedure is still unclear.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
UPDATE: On 21st August, the government announced that they would extend the eviction ban by four weeks. For more information please refer to the government website.