The ban on evicting tenants in England and Wales has been extended by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick today.
The eviction ban on tenants was due to expire on Monday.
The extension to the ban which began during the first lockdown means there can be no bailiff evictions for all but the most egregious cases for at least six weeks – until at least 21 February.
In practice, that means renters cannot expect to be evicted by a bailiff until 8 March at the earliest.
The ban could be extended further and Jenrick said it was “helping to protect the most vulnerable renters”.
Landlords will still be required to give a six-month notice period to tenants until at least 31 March except in the most serious circumstances.
Courts will continue to process evictions for serious cases of anti-social behaviour and other criminal behaviour.
The ban since last year meant the number of evictions as applications to the courts for possession by private and social landlords were down 86 per cent between July and September last year, compared to the same quarter in 2019.
Mark Hayward, chief policy adviser for Propertymark, welcomed Jenrick’s pilot of a mediation programme for rent arrears and eviction cases causing a backlog in the courts.
“The new mediation pilot will help it is important to take steps back towards normality so that both landlords and tenants have access to the justice system, while putting measures in place to offer further support to tenants who have built up Covid-related arrears through no fault of their own”.