Exclusive

Eviction ban in England extended to 20th September

21 August 2020, 07:13 | Updated: 21 August 2020, 13:59

Exclusive: extension on eviction ban could be announced tomorrow

By Ben Kentish

An extension to the ban on court eviction proceedings could be announced as early as today, LBC understands.

The ban on eviction cases being heard in court was due to expire on Sunday 23rd August, prompting concerns that almost 300,000 households could face eviction in the coming weeks. 

The ban was first announced on 18th March which was then extended to 5th June with ministers confirming eviction cases would resume in courts from 24th August.

Government sources told LBC yesterday that plans are being urgently worked up to protect tenants by extending the ban in most instances; the exception to this will be where there is clear evidence of "egregious" behaviour, such as anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse, where there will be a resumption of cases.

However, the move to further delay eviction proceedings needed the support of senior members of the judiciary. That has now been agreed.

300,000 tenants could face eviction if the ban is not extended
300,000 tenants could face eviction if the ban is not extended. Picture: PA

The government is also considering other options to protect tenants if the committee does not agree to an extension. 

With Parliament currently not sitting, ministers cannot rush through legislation to protect tenants from evictions, meaning they are having to explore other avenues.

They are also likely to extend the policy of requiring landlords to give three months notice before evicting a tenant. This is currently due to expire on 30 September, after which it would return to the usual two months. 

While the government believes that the vast majority of tenants have been able to continue paying their rent as usual, and others have negotiated payment holidays with landlords, the housing charity Shelter estimates that 3% of renters have fallen into arrears - equating to 227,000 people.

"Renters needn't worry instantly if eviction ban is lifted"

Last month, housing minister Lord Greenhalgh said: “From 24 August 2020, the courts will begin to process possession cases again. This is an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.

“Work is under way with the judiciary, legal representatives and the advice sector on arrangements, including new rules, to ensure that judges have all the information necessary to make just decisions and that the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”However, the change in approach follows warnings about the plight of many tenants.

 An MHCLG spokesperson said: “The government has taken unprecedented action to support renters, preventing people getting into financial hardship and helping businesses to pay salaries – meaning no tenants have been evicted at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are working on how best to continue supporting renters and landlords during the pandemic and will make an announcement on the next steps shortly.”

Labour had called for the ban on eviction proceedings to be extended. 

In a letter to Robert Jenrick, the Shadow Housing Secretary Thangam Debbonaire said: "As you know, the ban on evictions is due to end on Sunday 23rd August. In March, you promised: “no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.

"I am writing today asking you to set out the steps you have taken to prevent a self-made homelessness crisis at the worst possible moment, as the furlough scheme winds up and we face the risk of growing infections of coronavirus."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The vote-counting got underway on Thursday evening.

George Galloway claims he’s on track for ‘comfortable’ victory in Rochdale by-election following divisive campaign

The scheme could cost more than £500m, a watchdog report has found.

Rwanda scheme could cost taxpayer more than £500m, watchdog report finds

The trust where Valdo Calocane was treated has been rated inadequate

Staff at mental health trust that treated Nottingham killer Valdo Calocane 'falsified records and assaulted patients'

Bangladesh Fire

Dozens killed in fire at shopping centre in Bangladesh capital

Israel Palestinians Rafah Photo Gallery

Israeli troops ‘fire on people waiting for aid’ as Gaza death tolls hits 30,000

Former Ambassador Arrested

Former career US diplomat admits spying for Cuban intelligence for decades

Kensington Palace issued a statement addressing well-wishers' concerns.

Kensington Palace issues fresh statement on Kate’s health following concerns amid speculation

On Thursday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is a big supporter of the arts and he believes that the arts should be inclusive and open to everyone.

'Wrong and divisive': No. 10 condemns theatre 'Black Outs' after West End show announces exclusive performances

Rishi Sunak has spoken out after the report into Wayne Couzens

Rishi Sunak says police must make 'urgent changes' after Couzens report, following 'chilling, abominable' murder

Donald Trump

Trump appeals against decision to remove his name from Illinois primary ballot

Staff said the increase relates to a greater number of Albanian children entering asylum hotels since the 2022 inspection.

UK border control is 'neither effective nor efficient', sacked watchdog says, with 147 child migrants still missing

Jess Phillips has said the person who allowed Couzens' employment should be 'for the chopping block'.

Person who allowed Wayne Couzens to be employed ‘has to be for the chopping block’, Jess Phillips tells LBC

Christian Horner

Christian Horner breaks silence after 'texts leaked', as Red Bull F1 boss cleared of inappropriate behaviour claims

The man was found at his home in Herne, Germany.

Horror as man found with ‘penis bitten off and eaten by pet dog’ after neighbours reported relentless barking

Russia Ukraine War

Russian onslaught targets more Ukrainian towns and villages

Sergei Sokolov

Editor of top independent Russian newspaper detained for ‘discrediting military’