In this article we’re going to look at the tenant eviction ban, how things have changed, and what this means for both tenants and landlords

During the first lockdown the government introduced changes to the timeframe in which landlords can start eviction procedures as part of the Coronavirus Act 2020. This left landlords needing to give tenants three months’ notice rather than two.

Many tenants were also looking for rent reductions or payment holidays with landlords feeling the pressure to agree to suitable repayment plans.

Furthermore, as the pandemic progressed the government introduced a six-month ban on eviction proceedings through the courts, leaving landlords unable to force the removal of problem tenants but vulnerable tenants protected.

What’s the latest?

As of 21st September the eviction courts were open for business again. With a large backlog because of the closures the courts are now looking at cases in terms of priority, with cases involving domestic abuse or antisocial behaviour high up on the list.

The other significant change of late is the increase in notice period for evictions to six months. If you’re renting and worrying about eviction, you’re likely safe now until Spring at the earliest.

There are some exceptions to the six month rule. Landlords can evict those in serious rent arrears (more than six months) with just four weeks’ notice. And if you’re seeking to evict a tenant for antisocial behaviour, you will have to give very little notice at all, if any.

How will ‘lockdown 2.0’ impact things?

Landlords, you can still give notice to evict tenants during the lockdown, or start court action, but you will likely face potentially significant delays.

Some court hearings will go ahead, some won’t, depending on the court involved.

Bailiffs won’t be knocking on any doors to evict tenants during the lockdown, except in extreme circumstances, regardless of when the court made the order.

There will also be no evictions between 11th December-11th January 2021 as directed by the government to provide extra protection to tenants over the festive period.

What should I do if I’m struggling financially?

Whichever side of the situation you’re on, tenant or landlord, it’s likely been a tough year.

Landlords, there may be some of the government support schemes that you can benefit from depending on your personal situation and how you’ve set up your business. If you finance your properties most banks are still offering mortgage holidays.

Struggling tenants have a lot of government protection as we’ve outlined here, and there’s government financial support available if you’re in this position too. If you’re having a hard time paying your rent or have another issue, talk to your landlord to try and agree a mutually beneficial arrangement.

What might happen next?

As with all things coronavirus related, nobody knows. But we’ve already seen a lot of changes to help those struggling when the government announced the second national lockdown. They extended the furlough scheme, announced businesses can top up bounce back loans, and they’re bringing in more support for the self-employed too.

It pays to keep up to date with all the support schemes to see what help you’re entitled to. Some landlords, as a lot of the self-employed have, may fall through the net, but if that happened to you earlier in the year it may not be the case now.

There is reason to be optimistic

At E&M we’ve never been busier than we have over the last few months.

We need more homes to let out in Burnley and the surrounding areas!

We have tenants waiting so if you’re a landlord who is taking advantage of the recent upturn in the market by expanding your portfolio or if you have available properties, we want to speak to you. We can let your properties/rooms fast and find you the perfect tenants.

If you’re looking for a new home to rent, you can have a look at the properties we currently have available here.

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Call our lettings team on 01282 711560 or email lettings@eandmps.com.