Private Rented Housing: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Beecham Lord Beecham Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are planning to take to avoid a substantial number of tenants of private housing being evicted when the stay on house possession proceedings is lifted.

Photo of Lord Greenhalgh Lord Greenhalgh Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), The Minister of State, Home Department

To help prevent people getting into financial hardship or rent arrears, the Government has put in place an unprecedented support package, including support for business to pay staff salaries through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, £9.3 billion of additional support through the welfare system this year, and increasing Local Housing Allowance rates so that they are set at the 30 th percentile of local market rents in each area.

Legislation has been introduced that means, from 29 August 2020, landlords must give tenants six months’ notice before they can evict in most circumstances, apart from the most egregious cases – such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators – where it is right that landlords should be able to start progressing cases quicker, because of the pressure they place on landlords, other tenants and local communities. This will be in force until 31 March 2021.

In addition, new court rules, which will come into force on 20 September, will mean landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.

We will keep these measures under review?and decisions?will continue?to be guided by the latest public health advice.

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