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Calls Grow to Extend Protection for Renters

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Ministers have been warned that thousands of private renters are in need of financial aid and legal protections to prevent a spike in homelessness when the eviction ban ends this week.

It is estimated that 55,000 tenants have been given an eviction notice between the months of March and August. As the eviction ban ends, councils are concerned that they will be left to pick up the pieces as more people become homeless over the next few months.

The housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, vowed back in March that no tenant who had lost their means of income as a result of COVID-19 would lose their home. However, hundreds of thousands of renters have built up arrears over the last few months due to the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.

Campaigners have warned that thousands of people have been excluded from new legal protections to slow down evictions. A six-month notice period has been granted to anyone who has been served with an eviction notice since the end of August, however anyone served with a notice from March to August has not been afforded the same protection.

Baroness Grender, Liberal Democrat peer, will be pushing to block the evictions process until the issue has been addressed properly by parliament.

Chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, said: “More than 300,000 private renters have fallen behind on their rent since the pandemic hit. And while some of the short-term protections – like longer notice periods – are welcome, they don’t apply to everyone, nor do they stop people getting deeper into debt. If the government is dead set on lifting the evictions ban, then the best shot it can give struggling renters to keep hold of their homes is with emergency funds to clear Covid arrears.”

A government spokesperson said: “We’ve taken unprecedented action to support renters by banning evictions for six months, preventing people getting into financial hardship and helping businesses to pay salaries. To help keep people in their homes over the winter months, we’ve changed the law to increase notice periods to six months and introduced a ‘winter truce’ on the enforcement of evictions for the first time.

“In addition we have put in place a welfare safety net of nearly £9.3bn and increased Local Housing Allowance rates to cover the lowest 30% of market rents.”

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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