Coronavirus (COVID-19)—MHCLG extends eviction notice period to six months

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—MHCLG extends eviction notice period to six months

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has confirmed comprehensive measures will be taken to support renters affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) this winter. Emergency legislation has increased the notice period for evicting tenants to six months, which will allow renters to stay in their homes over winter and give them adequate time to find alternative accommodation. The new law will be in place until at least the end of March 2021. MHCLG also confirmed that evictions will not be enforced in areas where there are local lockdowns and that there will be a truce on enforcement over Christmas. The only exceptions to the new law are ‘the most egregious cases’ including anti-social behaviour, fraud or domestic abuse. In addition, the government is providing £180m in funding to local authorities to support vulnerable renters with housing costs.

From 21 September 2020, courts will start to hear possession hearings again subject to the following new processes:

• prioritisation of cases including anti-social behaviour and other crimes, as well as extreme rent arrears

• cases from before 3 August 2020 must be ‘re-activated’ by the landlord and will then be subject to a new review hearing, at least four weeks before the substantive hearing

• landlords must provide courts and judges with information on how tenants have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Failure to do so could result in judges adjourning the hearings until such information is provided

Source: Government sets out comprehensive support for renters this winter

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