As the coronavirus swept through the UK in March 2020, the government suspended new evictions and a bold commitment was made by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, that “no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home”.

Despite the devastating effect of the coronavirus pandemic, the initial stay on possession proceedings was lifted on 20th September 2020.  A new strategy and procedure has been introduced whereby notice periods have been extended and there is a temporary ban on most evictions until 11th January 2021.

In order to navigate these changes, housing barrister Geeta Koska has prepared a short guide to support advisers and solicitors facing residential possession proceedings and evictions.  As the new measures fall short of the promise that tenants would not be forced out of their homes, the guide considers the tools available to protect tenants against being made homeless this winter. 

As 2020 draws to a close, we continue to wait for the Renter’s Reform Bill, which would abolish “no fault evictions” under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, and a realistic plan to mitigate the economic and social cost of the pandemic.  In these challenging circumstances, 1MCB’s housing team will continue to defend and promote the rights of tenants.

The complete guide can be downloaded here.