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LANDLORDS will be able to evict tenants who have fallen behind on rent during the pandemic from tomorrow.
Despite the government extending the ban on bailiff evictions last Friday, the new legislation weakens protections for many tenants.
Since September, landlords have only been able to evict tenants in exceptional circumstances, such as anti-social behaviour or falling into “substantial arrears.”
This was previously defined in law as the equivalent to missing nine months of rent.
Any arrears gathered since the first lockdown on March 23 could not be counted in the total.
However, under the new legislation, landlords can now evict tenants who’ve failed to pay six months’ worth of rent, leaving thousands at risk of being turfed out during the third lockdown.
A November survey for Citizens Advice indicated that half-a-million private renters were behind on their rent.
Housing activists have described the legislation as “desperately cruel.”
London Renters Union organiser Alva Gotby said: “The government promised repeatedly that no-one would lose their homes because of the pandemic. Clearly, it lied.”
Tenants’ union Acorn said: “An ‘eviction ban’ that allows, from Monday, the eviction of many people who have fallen behind on rent since the first lockdown is not a meaningful eviction ban.”
The union called for a “real” ban that “protects tenants and keeps them in their homes.”
The ban on bailiff evictions has been extended to February 21 in England. It does not include a stay on court proceedings.
In Scotland and Wales, the ban is expected to run till at least the end of March.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Friday that the ban would help to “protect the most vulnerable renters.”
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