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Landlords to be banned from evicting tenants

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18/03/2020
Government announces measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus
Landlords to be banned from evicting tenants

There will be a complete ban on evictions and additional protection for renters, in response to the Coronavirus crisis.

As a result, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time, the Government said.

Emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, the three month mortgage payment holiday announced yesterday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. This will alleviate the pressure on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result.

At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.

The government will also issue guidance which asks landlords to show compassion and to allow tenants who are affected by this to remain in their homes wherever possible. The National Housing Federation and Local Government Association have welcomed the new support for social renters and made clear that no one should be evicted because of the coronavirus.

Help to Buy borrowers

Those who have benefited from a government-backed Help to Buy equity loan will be offered interest payment holidays if they are struggling to pay due to coronavirus.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.

“These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. Which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.

“These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”

Stephen Jones, UK Finance CEO, added: “In addition to the industry’s support for residential homeowners, mortgage lenders are extending the same support to buy-to-let landlords who have tenants experiencing issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19 and the options include a payment holiday of up to three months.

“For those customers already experiencing financial difficulty, lenders have also agreed a three-month moratorium on residential and buy-to-let possession action. The industry wants to reassure customers that they will not have their homes repossessed at this difficult time and therefore, these measures will start from 19th March 2020.”

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