Impending changes looming for landlords and tenants
The government has confirmed that the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, will end on 31 May.
Bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating. Courts will continue to prioritise the most serious cases, such as those involving fraud or anti-social behaviour, with many of the evictions waiting to be enforced when the ban lifts pre-dating the pandemic.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher also announced that tenant notice periods, extended to six months as an emergency measure, will be set at four months from 1 June, in order to offer continued protection as lockdown restrictions are eased. Subject to public health advice and progress out of lockdown, notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October.
These measures have been introduced to help ensure that renters continue to be protected, while still allowing landlords to access justice and protection from rent arrears. This is a highly important balance for the private rented sector to maintain as we have seen a much stronger landlord/tenant relationships develop over the last 12 months or so which has been a huge positive in light of increased pressure being applied on both parties – through no fault of their own – during this period.
In order to support this process, the government needs to embark upon a transparent and fair approach so that tenants and landlords are clear on their rights and responsibilities. And that they receive the right levels of support when and where they need them.