Bailiff eviction ban in England extended until end of March - what it means for renters

Monday, 15th February 2021, 10:52 am
Updated Monday, 15th February 2021, 10:52 am
The current ban on bailiff evictions in England will now be extended until the end of March 2021 (Photo: Shutterstock)

The current ban on bailiff evictions in England will now be extended until the end of March 2021.

The ban was first introduced at the start of the Covid pandemic in March of last year, in order to protect private renters, and was originally extended until 22 February after initially being planned to end on 11 January.

However, the Government has announced the ban will now be extended for several more weeks.

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Bailiff eviction ban extended

The eviction ban means that landlords cannot serve eviction notices and bailiffs cannot carry out repossessions, except in some extreme circumstances, including landlords with seriously anti-social tenants, illegal occupants and tenants with arrears of six months’ rent or more.

This comes after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently announced in January that the ban on evictions in the country will be extended until at least March 31.

Ms Sturgeon said the regulations preventing most evictions from the private and social rented sectors would continue beyond the previously planned end date of 22 January, and that evictions would only go ahead in limited cases, such as anti-social behaviour.

A similar ban on evictions is also in place until the end of March in Wales.

Addressing England’s bailiff eviction ban, House Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “We have taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic, including introducing a six-month notice period and financial support to help those struggling to pay their rent.

“By extending the ban on the enforcement of evictions by bailiffs, in all but the most serious cases, we are ensuring renters remain protected during this difficult time.

“Our measures strike the right balance between protecting tenants and enabling landlords to exercise their right to justice.”

‘A package of hardship loans and grants is needed as a matter of urgency’

The National Residential Landlords Association chief executive, Ben Beadle, has warned that the Government’s ban extension announcement could lead to future problems.

Mr Beadle said that 800,000 private renters have built up arrears since the ban came into force in 2020, which they would struggle to be able to ever pay off.

He said: “It will lead eventually to them having to leave their home and face serious damage to their credit scores.

“The government needs to get a grip and do something about the debt crisis renters and landlords are now facing.

“A package of hardship loans and grants is needed as a matter of urgency. To expect landlords and tenants simply to muddle through without further support is a strategy that has passed its sell-by date.”