Landlords now have the power to evict tenants for not paying rent during lockdown, under new rule changes by the Tories.
The government last Friday extended a ban on bailiff evictions in England. The extension will continue until 21 February, covering the new lockdown.
But they have scrapped restrictions on landlords serving eviction notices.
Rent that has been unpaid for six months can now lead to evictions, and any debts accrued since the start of the pandemic are not excluded.
Previously, the ban allowed landlords to carry out evictions in the “most egregious” cases, such as anti-social behaviour or owing rent for more than nine months. But rents accrued since the first lockdown in March were not allowed to be counted.
This means that, as unemployment skyrockets, the Tories have taken away protection for those who can’t afford to pay the rent.
Citizens Advice has estimated that close to half a million tenants are in arrears, with the average amount owed at £730.
Landlords lobbied ministers to end the ban, claiming it harms business and is causing tenants to build up more arrears.
The Tories have clearly shown they care more about keeping money in landlords’ pockets than keeping a roof over people’s heads.
Applications to the courts for possession by landlords were down 86 percent between July and September last year due to the ban.
But 70,309 households were still made homeless and 50,561 were threatened with homelessness since the start of the pandemic despite this.
The new rules will mean even more people will face evictions and homelessness.