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Govt extends ban on bailiff evictions

Govt extends ban on bailiff evictions
 Credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The government has extended the ban on bailiff evictions until March 31.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced the six-week extension on Sunday (February 14), saying the government wanted to ensure renters remained protected during this difficult time.

Exemptions to the ban remain in place for people in the most serious circumstances, such as illegal occupation, anti-social behaviour and arrears of at least six months’ rent.

Landlords are also required to give a six-month notice period to tenants before starting possession proceedings, except in the most serious circumstances where the ban will be in place.

As a result, most renters who are now served notice can stay in their homes until at least August 2021.

Jenrick said: “We have taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic including introducing a six-month notice period and financial support to help those struggling to pay their rent.

“By extending the ban on the enforcement of evictions by bailiffs, in all but the most serious cases, we are ensuring renters remain protected during this difficult time.

“Our measures strike the right balance between protecting tenants and enabling landlords to exercise their right to justice.”

But the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) responded that the extended ban did “nothing” to help private renters who had built rent arrears since lockdown began last year.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “It means debts will continue to mount to the point where they have no hope of paying them off. It will lead eventually to them having to leave their home and face serious damage to their credit scores.”

The government previously extended the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions in England for six weeks in January.

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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