Scarborough Council leader joins calls to extend the ban on tenant evictions

Scarborough Council’s leader has signed a letter sent to the Housing Secretary calling for an urgent extension of the ban on evictions.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 10:37 am
Updated Sunday, 23rd August 2020, 7:58 am

Cllr Steve Siddons has joined with Labour Metro Mayors, the Mayor of London and other council leaders from across England in signing the letter to Robert Jenrick MP.

The letter urges the government to fulfil its promise that “no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home”.

Labour has called on the government to extend the ban, with Labour Leader Keir Starmer saying: “Unless the Government extends the ban on evictions, provides more support for tenants and follows through on its promise to scrap no-fault evictions, tens of thousands of people risk losing their homes.”

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Cllr Steve Siddons, and Scarborough Town Hall

The housing charity Shelter estimates that nearly a quarter of a million people are at risk of eviction because of Covid economic impact.

Once the ban is lifted, under current law, anyone with two months' arrears can be automatically evicted through the courts.

The letter adds: “We have long been warning that current policies will lead to a wave of evictions and homelessness this winter, potentially coinciding with a rise in Covid-19 infections. But this crisis is avoidable if you act quickly and decisively.

“Together, as the elected representatives of millions of people across England, we are calling on you to urgently extend the ban on evictions, and make good on your promise, that no-one lose their home as a result of Covid.

“We look forward to your response. We will work with the government constructively to support everyone affected by this situation.”

Landlords in England and Wales were banned in March from evicting tenants and repossessing properties following the outbreak of coronavirus.

A number of health bodies have also written to Mr Jenrick calling for an extension to the ban.

The protection had been due to end on Sunday.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “I know this year has been challenging and all of us are still living with the effects of COVID-19. That is why today I am announcing a further 4 week ban on evictions, meaning no renters will have been evicted for 6 months.

“I am also increasing protections for renters – 6 month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter.

“However, it is right that the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, begin to be heard in court again; and so when courts reopen, landlords will once again be able to progress these priority cases.”

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