Evictions and Repossession Orders: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 25th November 2020.

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Photo of Yasmin Qureshi Yasmin Qureshi Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to protect (a) renters from eviction and (b) homeowners from repossession during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The stay on housing possessions ended on 20 September and possession claims can now be actioned through the courts, but evictions will not be enforced apart from in the most serious cases. The Government has now changed the law to ensure that bailiffs do not enforce evictions in England over the period of national restrictions or over the Christmas period. No eviction notices are to be served until 11 January 2021 at the earliest and, given the 14-day notice period required, no evictions are expected to be enforced until 25 January 2021 at the earliest. The only exceptions to this are the most serious circumstances: illegal occupation, false statement, anti-social behaviour, perpetrators of domestic abuse in social housing, where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant and extreme rent arrears equivalent to 9 months’ rent with any arrears accrued since 23 March discounted.

To protect homeowners from repossession, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced a moratorium on the enforcement of lender repossession until 31 January 2021, except for in exceptional cases such as a borrower requesting proceedings to continue. For homeowners, mortgage holidays have been extended with applications open to 31 March 2021. Additionally, borrowers that have been affected by Coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday, will be entitled to a six-month holiday. Those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

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