The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has given Letting Agent Today a statement trying to soothe critics of its decision to finally end the evictions ban at the end of last month.
Over the weekend LAT was told by a department spokesman: “The government has taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic and there will have been no evictions for five months.
“We are working with the judiciary to ensure that, as far as practicable, arrangements are in place to give appropriate protections for those who have been particularly affected by coronavirus when proceedings start again.
“We have put in place a support package to help prevent people getting into financial hardship or rent arrears which includes help for businesses to pay staff salaries, providing over £6.5 billion to strengthen the welfare safety-net and increasing Local Housing Allowance rates so that they cover the lowest 30 per cent of market rents.”
In addition the MHCLG says that additional support Discretionary Housing Payments are available to those who need them and adds that – as announced at the spending round for 2020/21 – there is already £180m in Discretionary Housing Payments for local authorities to distribute for supporting renters with housing costs in the private and social rented sectors.
The department says that those “significant financial measures” will help to support tenants to continue to pay their living costs, including rental payments.
It concludes: “We continue to urge any tenants who may be experiencing problems to contact their landlord at the earliest opportunity and for parties to agree a workable way forward.”
The evictions ban is due to end on August 23; there is already substantial evidence of a vast backlog of possession cases, many stretching back to well before the Coronavirus outbreak, which will have to be taken through court.
This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.