Govt confirms no renters to be evicted during outbreak

The Government has confirmed no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during the coronavirus outbreak, as part of a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords.

Emergency legislation is to be taken forward as an “urgent priority” so that landlords will not be able to evict tenants for at least a three-month period.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, a statement from the Ministry of Housing last night confirmed that the three month mortgage payment holiday announced on Tuesday would be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus.

The Government suggested this will alleviate the pressure on landlords, who will be “concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves”, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result.

At the end of the period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, the Government added, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, commented: “The Government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.

“These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. Which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started. These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”

National Residential Landlords association chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: “Landlord groups welcomes government support. We recognise the exceptional circumstances and we will work collaboratively with government to ensure these measures protect both landlords and tenants.”

Commenting on the move, Nationwide director of mortgages, Henry Jordan, added: “As the UK’s second largest buy-to-let mortgage provider, we feel it is important to extend protection to landlords and their tenants during this uncertain period.

“We have extended mortgage payment holidays to include rental properties so that landlords with tenants who are unable to meet rental payments because of coronavirus are protected as much as possible.

“We would encourage tenants to speak to their landlords if they are impacted or worried about coronavirus to ensure that steps can be taken to support them at this time.”

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