The government has announced that the ban on evictions will be extended in full until 20 September, and has proposed extending notice periods to six months – increasing the time between issuing an eviction notice and when you can seek possession of property.
In our press statement, we have welcomed the fact that tenants around the country now have additional security, particularly private tenants who do not have the reassurance that social landlords like housing associations have provided.
Our updated sector statement of support for tenants is a powerful statement of the compassionate approach housing associations have taken throughout the coronavirus crisis – and will continue to take whenever the eviction ban is lifted. This proactive commitment will provide great reassurance to housing association residents now and in the weeks to come.
We have also, however, raised concerns that a blanket extension to the evictions ban means there is no way of tackling a small minority of urgent cases, such as those involving domestic abuse or anti-social behaviour, which put other residents at risk.
The government understands these concerns and has said that when the ban is lifted, urgent cases involving anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and abandonment will be prioritised by the courts.
We are also seeking clarification on the extension of notice periods, as the government has indicated that serious cases will not be included and will instead be issued shorter notices. This will support the government’s aim of bringing forward urgent cases as priorities when the courts reopen.
We will continue to work closely with the government and the courts to ensure the commitment to hear the most pressing issues first is to put into practice as soon as possible once the ban is lifted.
If there is more the government can do to support you in dealing with the impact of the extension to the ban, or if you have any other concerns or questions, then please get in touch and we will explore these as a matter of urgency.