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Robert Jenrick drops evictions bombshell including ban extension and six-month notice periods

Tenants are to be protected from eviction until 'at least' March 31st 2021 and possibly beyond, and even then mild rent arrears won't be prioritised.

Nigel Lewis

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has now confirmed that it is to extend the ban on evictions to 20th September and also introduce six-month long notice periods that will run until 31st March 2021.

Secretary of State Robert Jenrick also confirmed that when the courts re-open they will prioritise the most serious cases such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes, as well as where landlords have not received rent for over a year and would otherwise face unmanageable debts.

“I know this year has been challenging and all of us are still living with the effects of COVID-19. That is why today I am announcing a further 4 week ban on evictions, meaning no renters will have been evicted for six months,” says Jenrick (above).

“I am also increasing protections for renters – six month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter.

“However, it is right that the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, begin to be heard in court again; and so when courts reopen, landlords will once again be able to progress these priority cases.”

The Government says it will keep these measures under review with decisions guided by the latest public health advice.

Industry reaction

“The whole of the private rented sector has been impacted as a result of COVID-19 but we must recognise that the courts already faced a backlog of cases prior to the pandemic,” says Timothy Douglas, Policy and Campaigns Manger, ARLA Propertymark (left).

“It is important to take steps back towards normality so that both landlords and tenants have access to the justice system, while putting measures in place to offer further support to tenants who have built up COVID-related arrears through no fault of their own.”

Oli Sherlock (pictured, below), Head of Insurance at Goodlord, says: “Extending the evictions ban is simply kicking the can down the road.

“It’s helpful for neither tenants nor landlords. Arbitrary extensions simply delay the issue instead of addressing it and this announcement doesn’t seem to have come with a strategy attached.

“There are tenants who will have arrears building up – leaving them with huge amounts of personal debt for every month they are unable to pay their rent.”

Ben Beadle (pictured, below), CEO of the National Residential Landlords Association says a blanket extension is “unacceptable, especially so close to the deadline”.

“An enormous amount of work as gone into finding a balance between supporting tenants who have been affected by the pandemic and preventing significant financial harm to landlords, in accordance with the Government’s promise. This announcement satisfies no-one,” he says.

“Landlords have been left powerless in exercising their legal right to deal with significant arrears unrelated to Covid-19, antisocial behaviour and extremely disruptive tenants who make life miserable for their neighbours and housemates.

“Private landlords cannot be expected to foot the bill for government failure. There must now be a plan to support households to pay their bills and to compensate landlords fully for their lost income.

“Only this will give both tenants and landlords security and reduce the risk of widespread tenancy failure. But this announcement also undoes months of preparatory work on pre-action protocols that many legal firms, landlords and letting agents had been working hard to prepare for.

evictionsPaul Shamplina of Landlord Action say s: “This is absolutely devastating news for those landlords who already had possession cases ongoing prior to the pandemic. It means those landlords with problem tenants who have been causing anti-social behaviour or withholding rent for reasons unrelated to Covid-19 face a further delay in regaining possession of the properties.

“Whilst no-one who has been impacted by Covid-19 should face losing their home, there are many cases that are unrelated and it is causing landlords extreme hardship and misery.

August 21, 2020


  1. England should ‘ do the decent thing ‘ like Wales and foot the bill for Tenants Covid-rent default.
    Expecting private landlords to fulfill the states welfare is both morally wrong and an abuse of Landlord Human Rights, Article 1 ( Yes, Landlords have Rights as well, these have been Totally ignored by this Government. )

    • What a surprise !!! We knew that something was about to happen when the government took down the website on Friday preventing landlords being able to prepare the necessary paperwork ready to start evictions next week. For the government to do this without any warning is totally unacceptable for all the landlords who are suffering financial hardships throughout this pandemic. Just a few tenants do abuse the system by using this as an excuse thinking that this is a green light not to pay their rent. No-one seems to care about the landlords financial problems and the government is now expecting them to put up with tenants staying in the property rent free for another 6 months. How is that fair? Landlords who have tenants who were already in arrears before this situation must now be allowed to proceed with the evictions immediately and the government should take on their responsibilities to either re-house these tenants or help by paying the landlords the rent as most landlords have mortgages to pay on these properties. The housing crisis in my opinion will just get worse as we are just kicking the problem into the long grass which is this governments answer to everything it seems rather than tackling the problems head on. Can we just have some common sense applied for once ?

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