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Will Ministers crack? Now doctors urge government to extend evictions ban

Ministers are facing pressure after both Scotland and NI extended their bans recently, and both Shelter and Labour call for an extension.

Nigel Lewis

bma evictions ban

The BMA has warned of a surge in Covid infections unless the eviction ban is extended past next Sunday.

The doctors’ union is also calling for legislation to place a 12-month duty on local authorities to enable everyone who sleeps rough, who is homeless and cannot self-isolate to have access to safe accommodation.

It says the Government should also pay more attention to the hidden homeless, who ‘sofa surf’ in shared accommodation and urgently need more support.

Rates of homelessness are expected to increase as the temporary halt on evictions ends, according to the union, which cites Shelter’s estimate of 227,000 private renters at risk of losing their homes when the ban is lifted – although the NRLA says that less than 2% of tenants have been served with a possession notice.

Added to this, it points to the number of job losses and domestic violence continuing to rise as a result of the pandemic, which is forcing people out of their homes and potentially making them homeless.

Large outbreaks

The BMA says that unless the Government continues to fund the placement of homeless people into suitable and safe accommodation, there could be large outbreaks among this population. People who are homeless are three times more likely to be chronically ill with lung and breathing problems – a serious risk factor in the development of the virus, according to the union.

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, BMA board of science chair, says the Government could be putting thousands of people’s lives at risk by not extending the eviction ban and having future provisions in place. “We need preventative measures to be put in place to help reduce the number of people at risk of losing their homes,” she says.

“This is particularly important as we head deeper into a recession and near the end of the eviction ban.”

Read more about the evictions ban.

August 21, 2020


  1. I AGREE ENTIRELY WITH KATHY BRITTON. I think we must stop this attitude of everyone hating Landlords. In fact I want the name changed; I am not a lord, have no wish to be called one, and strongly believe 90% think landlords are scum instead of the scum tenants that never pay and trash the property they are supposed to live in, not doss in.
    Tenants will never learn to look after themselves if this nanny state continues to do it for them! There are far too many Social Parasites out there today. Stopping us looking after those in need.
    I come from a Council House, there were 12 of us and we learned to keep clean and pay our way and not to expect someone else to do that for us.
    I hate being called a Landlord; just hate it. I am a property owner and I look after my tenants but have had plenty of tenants who do not give a got for me or any other landlord they abuse this system and just move from one to the other.
    I will no longer take unemployed and will sell at the first oportunity.

  2. I’m sorry but I just have to get this off my chest as I am so angry !!
    We are dealing with the letting of hundreds properties in the private sector. We have just seen that the eviction ban is now being extended to September. What a blow to all the landlords who have problem tenants especially with arrears. The media and especially Shelter seem to think that all landlords just throw out their tenants on a whim when issuing a Section 21. Its a fact that only a few landlords take this action and usually when tenants are in arrears. Sometimes landlords need to sell due to changes in their personal circumstances. Shelter seem to be determined to portray landlords as the bad guys every single time. Several of our landlords have been helping out their tenants with either rent holidays or reductions during this pandemic so don’t keep portraying them in such a derogatory manner. They are the back bone of the rental sector and need help too instead of being constantly being treated so badly. This move by the government will lead to even more landlords selling up and reducing stocks for people to choose from and its about time they realised this but this seems to be falling on deaf ears. Wake up and sort this problem out before its too late !!

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