POLITICS
02/07/2020 12:53 BST | Updated 02/07/2020 15:29 BST

Evictions To Resume On August 24 As Covid Lockdown Ban Won't Be Extended

The "unthinkable" decision comes as Generation Rent warns homelessness could treble this year.

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Evictions can resume from August 24 after ministers confirmed the ban in place during the coronavirus lockdown will not be extended. 

Local government minister Lord Greenhalgh quietly confirmed the news in an answer to a parliamentary question published online this week. 

It comes amid widespread concern over the impact Covid-19 will have on unemployment and announcements of thousands of job losses. 

Generation Rent has recently predicted that homelessness could treble this year, with rates of rent arrears rising from 4% before the pandemic to 13%. 

Greenhalgh said the most vulnerable will “get the help they need” and called ending the eviction ban “an important step towards ending lockdown”. 

But Lib Dem leadership contender Layla Moran is among those calling for the government to review the move. 

She said: “The idea that the government want to re-start evictions in the midst of a pandemic is unthinkable. This threatens a wave of homelessness in towns up and down the country, which added to the threat of local lockdowns could create a toxic cocktail for the disease to thrive.

“The government need to urgently rethink this heartless decision. If ministers are serious about the levelling up agenda, they need to act now to ensure vulnerable households across the country are protected. More support is urgently needed to help those struggling to pay their rent and prevent a rise in evictions.”

tap10 via Getty Images
House keys sitting on an eviction notice received in the mail.

But the National Residential Landlords Association has welcomed the confirmation. 

Greenhalgh said: “On June 5 the government announced that the current suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation will be extended by two months until August 23, 2020.

“From August 24, 2020, the courts will begin to process possession cases again. 

“This is an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property. 

“Work is underway with the judiciary, legal representatives and the advice sector on arrangements, including new rules, to ensure that judges have all the information necessary to make just decisions and that the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”