Ban on tenant evictions extended to August 2020
June 12, 2020

In March, the Government passed emergency legislation protecting tenants from being evicted due to missed rent payments in England and Wales.
Initially introduced for three months, the ban was set to end on June 23rd but has now been extended by two months to August 23rd – meaning court possession claims will not be heard until the end of September at the earliest.

With job losses and reduced wages expected to affect rent payments, this is welcomed by tenants, but landlords that have been financially hit by the pandemic too will undoubtedly be reviewing their options.

Guidance for landlords

During this time, notices can still be served and the validity of current claims is not affected – although evictions cannot take place until after the ban ends. Once notices have expired (which won’t be for three months) landlords are able to issue Court claims. However, these will then sit in a queue of cases to be heard once the stay ends. Additionally, more changes are expected to be made to assist the court in protecting tenants who have been directly affected by coronavirus.

Landlords and tenants are highly encouraged to work together to find a solution acceptable to both of them in these challenging times. Research by the National Residential Landlords Association has shown that almost half of landlords have received a request for help from their tenants, and 90% of them found a positive solution. While landlords may take a short-term financial hit from such solutions, they are eligible to apply for ‘mortgage holidays’ to alleviate some of the financial pressure caused by the pandemic.

If you are a landlord looking to help struggling tenants, your options include considering flexible payment plans, temporary rent reduction or rent-free periods. However, it is advisable to seek legal advice before finalising such arrangements to protect yourself should any issues arise. Additionally, there may be some instances where you have no other option but to pursue eviction. In which case, consulting a solicitor to review your position is highly recommended as soon as possible to help you navigate these uncertain times.

Review your options and get expert legal advice today: enquiries@terry-jones.co.uk

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