Possession proceedings suspended due to COVID-19
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Louise Heath
From today (27 March), the government has introduced measures that prevent anyone renting their home from being forced out by their landlord. All ongoing possession proceedings have been suspended for an initial period of three months.
Starting yesterday, landlords are unable to start possession proceedings until they have given tenants three months’ notice that they intend to start the process. This new three-month notice period will apply until 30 September and can be extended if needed.
The government has stressed that tenants are still expected to pay their rent, pointing to the extra cash the chancellor has made available to support people who are experiencing a drop in income due to the COVID-19 crisis. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will pay 80 per cent of a worker's wages up to a maximum of £2,500 pm.
The housing charity, Shelter, has welcomed the move. In a press release, Polly Neate, its chief executive, said that they were pleased that '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'. She praised the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, for listening to concerns and said that as a result of the measures 'many thousands of people can now stay safe in their homes'.

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