Housing – Landlords can now evict tenants with ‘pandemic arrears’
This article was published on: 13th January 2021Matt Pugh
The Government has announced a further extension of the ban on residential evictions, until 21 February 2021. This may be extended further and this has not yet been ruled out by Ministers.
The previous ban was due to expire on 11 January 2021 but had an exception for tenancies where there were 9 months’ worth of rent which had accrued before 23 March 2020 – in effect prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
This exception has now been expanded to allow evictions to proceed in cases where there are “substantial” rent arrears – defined as being 6 months’ rent arrears. There is no longer a requirement that the arrears accrued prior to the pandemic. This means that if 6 months or more of rent is owing from any time (even if accrued during the pandemic), evictions can proceed. Given the number of tenants who have been unable to pay rent during 2020, this opens the door to a wave of tenant evictions.
Author: Philip Copley, Solicitor