Shelter welcomes government change of course on evictions

Posted 26 Mar 2020

Tonight the government has announced that from tomorrow the court service will suspend all ongoing housing possession action – this means that neither cases currently in the or about to go in the system can progress to eviction.

This provides reassurances to the thousands of renters who will be in their notice periods that they do not have to leave in the midst of this public health crisis. The suspension of housing possessions action will initially last for 90 days, but this can be extended if needed.

Earlier this week the government extended eviction notice periods to three months, but no provision was made for renters whose notice periods are due to expire in the next few months, or for those who are currently being evicted through the courts.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “We’re very glad to see the government has changed its approach and is now introducing a full ban on evictions, giving much-needed protection for renters at this critical time. Robert Jenrick should take a lot of credit for having listened and taken further action - as a result many thousands of people can now stay safe in their homes.

“Now that we know courts will not take forward any evictions, it is crucial that renters know that they are protected and that they can stay put. Even if they do receive an eviction notice they should not feel pressured to leave whilst this crisis is ongoing."

“For the past few weeks our advisers and lawyers have been helping desperate people with looming evictions. We've heard from NHS staff and key workers who faced losing their home imminently, who told us they didn't know how they would keep a roof over their heads.