To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to support renters served a Section 21 between 21 and 29 August who did not qualify for the additional three month extension of the notice period.
21 September 2020
The Government has established an unprecedented package of support to protect renters throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes legislating through the Coronavirus Act 2020 to delay when landlords can evict tenants, a 6 month stay on possession proceedings in court and a range of financial support to enable renters to continue paying their living costs, including rental payments. This financial support includes increasing Local Housing Allowance rates so that they are set at the 30th percentile of local market rents in each area, which will remain in place throughout the winter period until at least the end of March 2021.
Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, landlords serving notice of their intention to seek possession between 21 and 29 August would have been required to give their tenants at least three months notice. Where possession cases do go to court, new court rules mean that landlords are now required to set out any information they are aware of in relation to how their tenant, or any dependant of their tenant has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges have the ability to adjourn proceedings until such information is provided. Courts will carefully prioritise the most egregious cases, including anti-social behaviour, fraud, and domestic abuse, ensuring landlords are able to progress the most serious cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes. In addition, guidance will also be issued to bailiffs highlighting that they should not enforce possession orders in places where local public health restrictions have been introduced by government through legislation or in England and Wales across 11 December 2020 to 11 January 2021.