- Emergency legislation has increased notice periods to 6 months until at least the end of March 2021.
- Evictions will not be enforced in local lockdown areas and there will be a truce on enforcement over Christmas.
- £180 million of government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments available for local authorities to support vulnerable renters this year.
Renters affected by coronavirus will continue to be supported over autumn and winter through comprehensive measures confirmed by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick this week.
The government has changed the law to increase notice periods to 6 months meaning renters now served notice can stay in their homes over winter, with time to find alternative support or accommodation.
The only exceptions to this are the most egregious cases, including where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or committed fraud, and the landlord rightly would like to re-let their property to another tenant.
This support builds on the unprecedented package the government has put in place to help communities through the pandemic, including support for businesses to pay staff salaries and strengthening the welfare safety-net with a nearly £9.3 billion boost to the welfare system. This includes an extra £1 billion to increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates so that they cover the lowest 30% of market rents, meaning we now spend £25 billion supporting households to meet the cost of rent in the private and social rented sectors.
For those renters who do require additional support, there is an existing £180 million of government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments made available this year, an increase of £40 million from last year and which is for councils to distribute to support renters with housing costs.
Commenting on the news local MP Antony Higginbotham said:
We all know the difficulties people have faced during the Coronavirus pandemic and it’s only right that we protect renters throughout the winter months. I don’t want to see anybody forced out of their home and welcome the extra funding made available for vulnerable renters.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said:
It’s right that we strike a balance between protecting vulnerable renters and ensuring landlords whose tenants have behaved in illegal or anti-social ways have access to justice. Our legislation means such cases will be subject to shorter notice periods and then prioritised through the judiciary’s new court processes.