Eviction ban extended by Communities Secretary

Robert Jenrick

An extension on the ban on bailiff evictions for all but the most serious cases has been announced by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.

The ban will be in place for at least 6 weeks with measures kept under review.

Robert Jenrick MP said: “We are extending the ban on bailiff evictions – helping to protect the most vulnerable renters.”

Court rules and procedures introduced in September to support tenants and landlords will remain in place and regularly reviewed. The courts will continue to prioritise cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation and perpetrators of domestic abuse in the social sector.

Landlords continue to be required to give 6-month notice periods to tenants until at least March 31 except in the most serious circumstances.

A new mediation pilot will launch next month (February). It will offer mediation as part of the possession process to try and help landlords and tenants to reach a mutual agreement and keep people in their homes.

Applications to the courts for possession by private and social landlords were down 86% between July and September 2020, compared to the same quarter in 2019. No repossessions were recorded between April and end September 2020 compared to 14,847 in the same period last year.

The government has changed the law in England to ensure bailiffs do not enforce evictions for 6 weeks until February 22, with no evictions expected until March 8 at the earliest. This will be kept under review.

The only exceptions to this are for anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation, death of a tenant where the property is unoccupied, fraud, perpetrators of domestic abuse in social housing and extreme rent arrears equivalent to 6 months’ rent.