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Evictions: Families

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL901, tabled on 8 June 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of families at risk of eviction; and what steps they are taking to support them.

Answered on

21 June 2021

The Government does not publish data on the number of families who are at risk of eviction.

The Government continues to provide support for all tenants, including families. A significant package of financial support is available to tenants to help them pay their rent. Local Housing Allowance rates were increased in April 2020 to the 30th percentile of market rents. In 2020/21 rates have been frozen in cash terms meaning claimants renting in the private rented sector will continue to benefit from the significant increase applied in April 2020. We have also made £140 million in Discretionary Housing Payments funding available, for local authorities to distribute to renters who require additional support. This is in addition to the wider support available through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and £20 weekly uplift to Universal Credit, which are in place until the end of September.

Tenants continue to benefit from longer notice periods of four months in most cases, giving them more time to make alternative arrangements where needed. New arrangements have also been introduced to protect tenants where a possession claim is made to the court. These include requiring landlords to provide information about how their tenant and their dependents have been affected by the pandemic, and a review stage to enable tenants to access legal advice. A new mediation pilot integrated into the court process is supporting landlords and renters who face court procedures and potential eviction to resolve issues and to help sustain tenancies where possible.

Evictions must be scheduled with a minimum of 14 days’ notice and will not be carried out if bailiffs are made aware that a member of the household has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating. In certain circumstances, tenants are able to apply to suspend an eviction, for example if a tenant missed the court hearing for a good reason and there would have had a good case for the possession order not to have been granted had they attended.