Anti-agent campaigners brand eviction ban extension ‘inadequate’

11 March 2021 | Renting

Anti-agent campaigners brand eviction ban extension ‘inadequate’

Acorn, a prominent campaign group targeting letting agency offices for protests, says the latest eviction ban extension doesn’t go far enough.

While on the one hand tweeting that the ban – announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday – was “a victory for organised renters everywhere” it also described it as “inadequate.”

Acorn says: “We need an end to the loopholes that are putting people at risk of eviction, an end to Section 21 evictions, and the government needs to tackle the rent crisis right now.”

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And it adds: “Only an organised working class can make sure that happens.”

Generation Rent, led by Baroness Alicia Kennedy, has expressed similar sentiments, and also wants taxpayers’ funds used to help tenants. 

She says: “Landlords can still serve eviction notices, even if their tenants have done nothing wrong, and courts remain open to process evictions. 

“The government’s protections exclude renters who owe more than six months rent, and many of these people will be in debt due to the pandemic. Without financial support, renters will face a cliff edge when restrictions lift.

“We need a Covid Rent Debt Fund to help renters who have been affected by the pandemic and left with debts they’re unable to pay. 

“The government must also bring forward the Renters Reform Bill and end ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions so blameless renters don’t lose their homes as a result of the pandemic.”

Housing Secretary Jenrick himself comments: “It is right that as we move through the roadmap, we ensure that businesses and renters continue to be supported. We have taken unprecedented action to support both commercial and residential tenants throughout the pandemic – with a £280 billion economic package to keep businesses running and people in jobs and able to meet their outgoings, such as rent.

“These measures build on the government’s action to provide financial support as restrictions are lifted over the coming months – extending the furlough scheme, business rates holiday and the Universal Credit uplift.”

So far there has been no explanation of Jenrick’s pledge to ‘taper’ an end to the bailiff-enforced eviction ban after May 31. 

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.