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Eviction ban: 2 month extension ‘simply not enough’ and government must ban ‘no-fault’ evictions

PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 June 2020

Housing minister Robert Jenrick arrives in Downing Street, London. PA photo; Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Housing minister Robert Jenrick arrives in Downing Street, London. PA photo; Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The coronavirus pandemic has not only created lots of new problems for society to deal with; but it has also made many existing situations much worse – and the unaffordability of rents in the private rented sector is one of these.

Camden’s renters pay on average 59 per cent of their income on rent, and at a meeting we hosted in Kilburn, we heard two eyewatering examples where 70pc and 90pc of income were being spent on it.

It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that even with a small reduction in earnings, you can soon get into financial difficulties with income/rent ratios like these, and it is due to the economic impact of Covid-19 that one in eight renters are now behind with their rent.

READ MORE: Eviction ban extended for another two months

This situation will only get worse in the coming months, leading to a tsunami of evictions and homelessness.

Some are calling for rents to be cancelled, but in the absence of detailed information about how this would work in reality, it’s hard to make an informed assessment of this proposal. It has also been pointed out that this is legally problematic because of the tenancy contracts renters and landlords have signed.

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This is why we fully support the Ham&High’s campaign to extend the temporary ban on evictions that is now due to end on 23rd August.

The government recently extended the ban by a further two months, but this is simply not enough, as we believe that the ban should continue until the government has introduced legislation to permanently abolish Section 21 and “no fault” evictions.

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Ground 8 - which is used when a renter is 8 weeks in arrears – and is currently mandatory, also needs to be suspended.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) which was increased in April to cover the 30th percentile of market rents in an area will be of limited value in very expensive places like Camden. Like a lot of other organisations, we think this should be increased to at least the 50th percentile.

The government repeatedly claims it wants to “ensure fairness in the rental market”.

Let’s see if they really mean it.


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