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.


  1. That will be a charter for those who won’t pay their rent if ever I saw one! Badly conceived legislation and I pity those good landlords caught up in this farce. – it is difficult and very expensive to get non payers out as it is.

  2. The government appear to show their ignorance. Many private landlords are still paying a mortgage on these properties. Many of the landlords are in the same position as tenants in that they are not permitted to work unless they are essential workers.
    The end result will be that the landlords property is repossessed by the mortgage company whom will sell the property. However, the landlord is still responsible for paying the arrears.
    The mortgage company will gain possession with the tenant eventually being evicted. So two people lose out one has no home but has had a possible reasonable life whilst the debts accrue. The other loses out as nine times out of ten the accommodation was his pension pot and if his home has been put up as security he potentially looses his/her home.

    • So what you’re saying is that tenants thrown out if work because of the pandemic should be thrown out of their homes, too, so that buy-to-let landlords can ensure their income streams?

  3. More landlords will switch from renting on ASTs to holiday rentals. Reduction in the pool of rental properties for longer term tenants will mean higher rents

  4. How about the one in Cliftonville who stopped paying rent 8 months ago after landlord wanted to sell and is leaving the landlord without his only source of income,
    yet has claimed she has money to buy a house cash!

  5. It wouldn’t be so bad if the government promised to pay landlords with non paying tenants the LHA rate as a minimum and make it a criminal offence for those that receive a housing element in their tax credits / universal credit but do not pass that element on. As it is there is nothing to stop the less honest tenants taking advantage. Landlords have to have what are now relatively complicated tenancy agreements attached to which are many responsibilities , but the protections to the landlord in these contracts have pretty well been ripped up by the government with no redress.
    Where my tenants have been furloughed the agreement between us is that i’ll accept 80% of the rent as full and final settlement for the period they are furloughed , but that it is down to them to revert back to full rent once they return to work. Fortunately my tenants are decent people and so far this has worked well , most landlords accept there is some pain to be shared but are dismayed at the governments actions.
    The courts are going to be very busy once this moratorium ends and quite where tenants that have generated significant arrears that lead to their tenancy being terminated then live is another issue, where rent is intentionally withheld councils will often argue that they have made themselves intentionally homeless and have no legal duty to house them.
    Regarding the comment about holiday lets , currently the situation is reversed many previous holiday lets have/are reverting back to long term lets, though this may well reverse once covid is a thing of yesterday.

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