15 February 2021
Last updated: 15 February 2021
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement about a new national lockdown, we have been in touch with government officials to establish what this means for housing associations. Please read on for our initial analysis, and an outline of our next steps. If you have any immediate questions, please get in touch with us.
The government has published guidance on the new lockdown, and we have been working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to clarify a number of points for the housing sector.
The government has confirmed an extension to the ban on balliff evictions for another six weeks until 31 March 2021 - with measures kept under review in line with latest public health advice. The guidance on possession proceedings has been updated to reflect the current position and provides a useful overview of the whole process of evictions. Exemptions remain in place for the most serious circumstances that cause the greatest strain on landlords as well as other residents and neighbours, such as illegal occupations, anti-social behaviours and arrears of six months' rent or more.
The government has also expanded its guidance on possession proceedings for social landlords. Landlords are required to give six-month notice periods to tenants before starting possession proceedings except in the most serious circumstances, meaning that most renters now served notice can stay in their homes until at least August 2021, with time to find alternative support or accommodation.
We are continuing our work to ensure that the government’s testing and vaccination programme prioritises all forms of supported housing, for both residents and staff, and to clarify how these will be delivered in practice.
We will continue meeting with government officials to discuss the national lockdown and its impact on our sector. As further information becomes available, we will update our website to share new information and government guidance. This will include any changes to the landlord and tenant guidance.