Evictions will not be enforced by bailiffs until 11 January 2021 at the earliest, “except for the most egregious cases” such as anti-social behaviour, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced.
The Ministry said: “Measures, including the pause on evictions starting in December, mean evictions will not be enforced until the 11 January 2021 at the earliest, supporting individuals and families who have found themselves in financial difficulty through no fault of their own.
“The only exceptions to this will be the most egregious cases, including where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or are the perpetrator of domestic abuse in social housing, and the landlord rightly would like to re-let their property to another tenant.”
The MHCLG said this would build on protections announced earlier this year, “including 6 month notice periods meaning renters now served notice can stay in their homes until May 2021, with time to find alternative support or accommodation”.
Courts are to remain open through the new national restrictions, it stressed.
The MHCLG said that whilst national restrictions apply, the only circumstances where these protections do not apply are illegal occupation, fraud, anti-social behaviour, eviction of domestic abuse perpetrators in social housing; where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant. The government also intends to introduce an exemption for extreme pre-Covid rent arrears.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “We have already taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic including introducing a 6-month notice period and financial support to help those struggling to pay their rent.
“We are now going further by protecting renters from eviction during the new national restrictions and throughout the Christmas period – with a pause on bailiff activity other than in the most serious circumstances, such as anti-social behaviour or fraud.
“Striking the right balance between helping tenants in need while ensuring landlords have access to justice in the most serious cases.”