Extend the eviction ban: MP and tenants’ rights campaigner back campaign to protect renters at risk of homelessness

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq. Picture: Lauren Hurley/PA - Credit: PA

The ban on new eviction proceedings against those renting “simply must be extended” according to Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq.

Ms Siddiq has joined the campaign launched by the Ham&High and its sister titles for the protections afforded to people who can’t pay rent to continue beyond June 25.

The MP has warned failing to do this would exacerbate the homelessness crisis – while the organiser of the Camden Federation of Private Tenants (CFPT) has also called for the emergency coronavirus measures to be extended at least until the changes to housing law ending “no fault” section 21 evictions are passed by parliament.

Ms Siddiq, who spoke up for renters in parliament in March, told this newspaper: “Covid-19 is not just a health crisis. It is also an economic crisis that could soon turn into a homelessness crisis unless urgent action is taken to support those who rent.

“Many constituents have contacted me because they can’t pay their rent right now and are terrified about losing their home in the middle of this pandemic. Protections against evictions are due to expire this month, and they simply must be extended if we are going to avoid thousands of renters being unfairly kicked out of their homes.”

She added the ban’s extention must be for “at least six months”.

Robert Taylor, organiser for the CFPT, said: “People were always struggling to pay their rent. That’s what the situation was before coronavirus, then this comes along and completely destroys people’s income. The ban needs to continue until the end of section 21, to protect renters.”

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A spokesperson for the ministry of housing, communities and local government said: “The government has taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic to ensure no one can be forced from their home – we have always said we will keep these measures under review and can extend if necessary.”

They said guidance was for landlords and tenants to “work together” to avoid the need for court action – and added the government would “carefully consider” next steps “to ensure fairness in the rental market”.