The government has issued updated guidance for landlords on the repossession of properties in the private rented sector following an extension of renter protections wherein bailiff evictions will not be enforced until 11 January 2021 at the earliest.
Under the new guidance, evictions will not be able to take place except “in the most serious circumstances, such as anti-social behaviour or fraud”. The added protection builds on the ruling announced earlier this year that enforced six-month notice periods for renters – which meant that tenants served notice could stay in their homes until May 2021.
The six-month notice period may be shortened under limited circumstances which include those in relation to anti-social behaviour (such as rioting), fraud and where a tenant has accrued rent arrears to the value of at least six months’ rent.
The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said:
“We have already taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic including introducing a six-month notice period and financial support to help those struggling to pay their rent.
We are now going further by protecting renters from eviction during the new national restrictions and throughout the Christmas period – with a pause on bailiff activity other than in the most serious circumstances, such as anti-social behaviour or fraud.
Striking the right balance between helping tenants in need while ensuring landlords have access to justice in the most serious cases.”