Housing Minister Christopher Pincher announced today (12 May) that renters will continue to be supported over the coming months as national COVID-19 restrictions ease.
The announcement confirmed that, as part of a phased approach, notice periods – previously extended to six months as an emergency measure during the pandemic – will be set at four months from 1 June. Four-month notice periods for most tenants will continue until at least the end of September to give them more support as the roadmap out of lockdown is pursued.
The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions will end on 31 May. Bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher, said:
“From the beginning of the pandemic, we have taken unprecedented action to protect renters and help keep them in their homes.
As COVID restrictions are eased in line with the Roadmap out of lockdown, we will ensure tenants continue to be supported with longer notice periods, while also balancing the need for landlords to access justice.
Crucial financial support also remains in place including the furlough scheme and uplift to Universal Credit.”
From 1 June, notice periods that are currently 6 months will reduce to at least 4 months. Notice periods for the most serious cases that present the most strain on landlords will remain lower:
- anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)
- domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
- false statement (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
- over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)
- breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (2 weeks’ notice)
- death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)
Notice periods for cases where there is four or more months of unpaid rent, will reduce to 2 months’ notice from 1 August. This is to support both landlords and tenants and responds to the greater difference between COVID and pre COVID notice periods for rent arrears.
Renters will continue to be supported with living costs, including rent, through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until 30 September 2021.
Local Housing Allowance rates are being maintained at their increased level in cash terms, and the government has also extended the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit until the end of September.
For those who require additional support, the government has made £140 million in Discretionary Housing Payments funding available for local authorities this financial year.
14 days’ notice is required before an eviction can take place. Therefore, no evictions are expected to take place before mid-June except in the most serious circumstances, and bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if they have been made aware that anyone living in the property has COVID-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.