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Campaign launched to extend eviction ban

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19/08/2020
A campaign has been launched calling on the housing minister to protect renters during the coronavirus crisis by further extending the eviction ban.

The eviction ban in England and Wales will be suspended on Sunday 23 August after an initial ban was introduced in March amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.

But with just days left until the protection runs out, homelessnes charity Shelter has launched a campaign calling on the housing minister to step in and protect people from losing their homes.

It is looking to send 10,000 emails to Robert Jenrick, urging the government not to end the temporary eviction ban.

The Shelter eviction ban campaign page stated that the coronavirus outbreak has lifted the lid on the “failing, unaccountable, and expensive renting system”.

Renters are among the hardest hit by the pandemic gripping the country with around 1.7 million people worried they’ll lose their jobs and face the prospect of not being able to pay their rent. Under current laws, they could also lose their home.

Shelter said that while the government has brought in some protections for renters, Universal Credit won’t cover most people’s rent.

“Right now, tenants are falling into debt because of coronavirus – and if the government doesn’t act now, these renters could be evicted once the ban ends.

“Together, we can make sure this doesn’t happen. Call on Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to step in and protect renters before they lose their homes,” it stated.

Last month minister Lord Greenhalgh, at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, confirmed there would be no further ban on evictions in response to a series of parliamentary questions.

After a five-month suspension, the minister said this would be “an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.”

When the extension was announced, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) warned it could result in a “further impetus” to landlords exiting the market.

A Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson, said: “The government has taken unprecedented action to support renters, preventing people getting into financial hardship and helping businesses to pay salaries – meaning no tenants have been forced from their home.

“We will give appropriate support to those particularly affected when proceedings start again and we have changed court rules so landlords need to provide more information about their tenants’ situation when seeking an eviction – with judges able to adjourn a case if they don’t.

“Legislation introduced in March requiring landlords to give all tenants three months’ notice will remain for possession cases, including section 21 evictions, until September 30.’’

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