Extension to ban on evictions

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has announced a further extension to the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions for private renters in England.

The current restrictions were due to end on January 11 following a month-long ban over the Christmas period.

The new extension will be until Sunday, February 21, and reviewed regularly.

Exemptions to the regulations which include illegal occupation, false statement, anti-social behaviour, where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant and extreme rent arrears (equivalent to six months’ rent with any arrears accrued since March 23 discounted).

Mark Hayward, Propertymark chief policy advisor, says: “The UK government has now approved the Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) Regulations 2021 and has released updated guidance to reflect a return to a national lockdown and the extension of the ban on bailiff enforcement. 

“In light of the recent lockdown, it is no surprise that the government has made today’s announcement, yet over the past few weeks the UK government has held off updates about evictions to the sector making it impossible for agents to respond and plan for the difficult winter months ahead.

“The whole of the private rented sector has been impacted as a result of Covid-19 but we must recognise that the courts already faced a backlog of cases prior to the pandemic.

“Although the new mediation pilot will help, it is important to take steps back towards normality so that both landlords and tenants have access to the justice system, while putting measures in place to offer further support to tenants who have built up Covid-related arrears through no fault of their own.”