Covid-19, News

COVID-19: Complete Ban On Evictions And Additional Protection For Renters

The government has announced that no renter in either social or private accommodation can be forced out of their home during this difficult time.

On 17 March 2020, the government announced that no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.

From 26 March 2020, landlords must give all renters 3 months’ notice if they intend to seek possession – this means landlords cannot apply to start proceedings to evict tenants until after the expiry of that 3 month period. This will apply until 30 September 2020 and may be extended by the government.

From 27 March 2020, the court service has suspended all ongoing housing possession action, meaning that neither cases currently in the system or any about to go into it can progress to a stage where someone could be evicted. This suspension will last for an initial period of 90 days. As a result of these measures, it is intended that no renters in private or social accommodation need be concerned about the threat of eviction.

Tenants are still liable for their rent and should continue to pay as usual.

Landlords remain legally obliged to ensure properties meet the required standard and all urgent and essential health and safety repairs should be made.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, the government confirmed that the 3-month mortgage payment holiday announced on 17 March 2020 will be extended to buy-to-let mortgages for landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. This should alleviate pressure on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result.

After conclusion of the pandemic, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.

This article is provided for general information only and is not intended to be nor should it be relied upon as legal advice in relation to any particular matter. If you would like to discuss property matters please contact Fionan Foo at fionan.foo@burlingtonslegal.com

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