An eviction ban was introduced to landlords in England last March, in an effort to protect those who’s finances have been affected due to the pandemic. This emergency legislation was due to be in place until March 31st of this year, however, has since been extended once again until 31st May 2021.
Under this ‘ban’, landlords are obliged to give their tenants a 6-month notice period and bailiff evictions are exempt, unless they are extreme situations.
This government incentive is fantastic news for tenants who may be experiencing financial difficulty and therefore it affecting their ability to pay their rent. The question is, what should I do if I’m in that situation?
The first step is to contact your landlord and inform them as soon as possible. Secondly, if your income has fallen or you are out of work, it is highly recommended to check as to whether you are eligible to receive government benefits. In addition to Discretionary Housing Payment from the local authority which was made available to support renters.
If you are in the position that you are still able to pay a partial amount of your rent, having a discussion with your landlord to see if they would be willing to accept reduced payments for an agreed time period would suffice until you can make up for the arrears in future.
Moreover, it is crucial to be aware of your rights as a tenant during these ever-changing climates. Under no circumstance will a landlord be able to lock you out of the property or inflict harassment during the eviction process. Most importantly, it is illegal for them to evict you without providing a written notice or some sort of court order.
A Section 21 or Section 8 noticed can be served if you are in a short-term tenancy, which will then start the eviction process and in this case, your landlord does not necessarily have to give you a specific reasoning for the eviction. However, they must still ensure to give you a notice period! Prior to the pandemic this was 2 months and has now extended to 6 months.
As there is no doubt the effects of Covid-19 have impacted everyone in some form or another, the government and professional bodies are doing all they can to minimise stress and help contain people safely in their homes. That being said, there is also a free mediation service available to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants, to refrain people from having to physically go to court.
It is so important to keep up to date with the latest changes and updates within the industry imposed by the UK government and should you have any further questions or queries on your situation, please get in touch with a member of our team today.