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25 March, 2020 Open access

Commons Select Committee warns that protection from eviction measures in Coronavirus Bill do nothing to protect those already subject to eviction processes

Chair of Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee says government must quickly come up with stronger proposals to protect all renters from eviction during the COVID-19 crisis

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has warned that the proposed three-month protection from eviction for private renters in the Coronavirus Bill 2019-21 does nothing to protect those already subject to eviction processes.

In a letter to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick (dated 20 March 2020), Committee Chair Clive Betts welcomes proposals in the Bill to prevent landlords from starting proceedings to evict tenants for at least three months during the COVID-19 crisis. However, seeking more information to address general calls for the government to go further to protect renters, Mr Betts asks -

Pending a response from Mr Jenrick, the Committee said yesterday that the Bill as agreed by the House of Commons does nothing for those already undergoing eviction processes - which are estimated to total more than 20,000 households according to analysis of court data by Shelter - and fails to go far enough to support private tenants during the crisis -

‘The economic impact of Covid-19 has left many people fearful that they will no longer be able to afford to pay their rent. The government rightly committed to protect private renters from eviction during this crisis. However, the emergency legislation does not achieve this and there is much more to do. Renters must be fully protected from the threat of eviction where they cannot afford their rent. The government needs to come up with stronger proposals quickly.’

For more information, see Clive Betts pushes for more Government support to protect private renters from parliament.uk

NB - the Coronavirus Bill is currently proceeding through all stages in the House of Lords, with protection from eviction measures set out in Schedule 29 of the Bill as introduced to the House of Lords.