20,000 are threatened with eviction during corona crisis

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Riot police at an eviction in east London – 20,000 people are facing being forced onto the streets by June

THE TORIES had promised a ‘complete ban’ on evictions from both council and private social housing. However, anger erupted yesterday as it emerged that eviction notices will still be sent out.

The evictions will simply be carried out a month later than planned. This means that more than 20,000 people will be evicted and thrown on the streets by June!
Greg Beales, campaign director for Shelter, said: ‘There is deep frustration at Shelter with these proposals. We think around 20,000 evictions already underway will carry on. Plus, more eviction notices will be landing in the coming days and weeks for mid-June. Quite shocking when you think about the impact on those isolating or social distancing.’
The new Coronavirus Bill which was nodded through Parliament on Monday confirmed that notice periods for eviction from rented housing will be lengthened to three months once the law comes into force.
For most renters, this marks a one month extension on the normal two month notice period and will mean many could be forced out as early as June.
It also does nothing to protect those who have already been served with a notice, or receive one before the bill comes into force.
The government had promised a ‘complete ban’ on evictions from social and private social housing.
Caitlin Wilkinson, policy manager at Generation Rent, said: ‘This legislation fails to deliver on these promises in every respect. All these measures do is extend the notice period for evictions to three months, which will provide little comfort to those faced with losing their homes in the midst of a pandemic.
‘Many renters will end up with thousands of pounds worth of debt and no means of paying it off. Landlords and tenants are expected to “work together” to find a solution to suit both parties from June onwards – but there’s absolutely nothing to stop landlords from evicting tenants if they can’t pay.’

  • Tenants can still be served notice by their landlord leaving residents at risk of eviction in June under three months’ notice.
  • The statutory notice period can be extended to six months by ministers, but this extension will not apply to notices which have already been served.
  • Notices served before the act comes into force (likely to be Friday) are still valid, meaning tenants could be evicted by May.
  • No measures have been put in place to manage rent arrears, leaving tenants at risk of piling up huge debts. Buy-to-let landlords have been offered a three-month mortgage holiday.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday night, Sarah Jones, shadow housing minister, said: ‘It would be frankly disgraceful for ministers to have promised one thing last week and to have misled renters with a promise to ban evictions, when the reality is nothing like that.’
However, Labour did not vote against the Bill and the Bill passed all its stages through the Commons in a single day without opposition and without MPs forcing any votes.