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COVID-19 – Renters Protected from Eviction

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Amidst the outbreak of COVID-19, several restrictions have been put into place in the UK in an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus. Some of these restrictions include the closure of social spaces, such as pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants, gyms and cinemas, as well as the closure of schools and colleges (to all except the children of key workers).

The outbreak of the virus has had a substantial effect on the way we go about our day-to-day lives, leaving many either unable to work due to the need to self-isolate or the closure of their workplace, or working reduced hours as a result of a drop in demand.

This is an uncertain time for all, as many are now concerned with how they can ensure their household bills can still be paid on time.

The government outlined plans to allow homeowners a 3-month mortgage holiday on their property in response to concerns regarding employment and affordability amidst the outbreak, and was later criticised for not putting similar measures into place for those who rent – over 5 million UK citizens.

 

Whilst no ‘rent break’ has been discussed since the announcement, the government has issued a statement to reassure renters that no landlord will be entitled to pursue eviction proceedings against tenants for at least 3 months, even if they’re unable to pay their rent. The 3-month mortgage holiday has also been extended to those with Buy-to-Let mortgages, to reduce some of the pressure felt by landlords whose tenants are unable to pay the rent on time due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: “The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.”

This new regulation has not yet been put into effect, but the government has advised that it will be dealt with as a priority and issued as soon as possible.

Landlords have been asked to show compassion and allow tenants to stay in their homes wherever possible.

 

As of 19th March, 2020, The Bank of England announced a reduction in interest rates from 0.25% to 0.1% as an emergency response to the pandemic.

This the second cut to interest rates made by The Bank of England in just over one week, and rates now remain at their lowest ever known in the bank’s 325-year history.

 

Visit our other blog articles to find out more about the impact of COVID-19.

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