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CORONAVIRUS bill published announcing protection for renters - but is it enough?

Posted: 24th March 2020   In: Dispute Resolution

The Government announced plans late last week to introduce emergency legislation with the primary aim of protecting individuals and families in rented accommodation who are affected by coronavirus.

It was thought that the emergency legislation would introduce a complete prohibition on possession proceedings (ie eviction proceedings) for a period of three months whilst the country deals with this national crisis.

The government have today (24th March 2020) published the draft Coronavirus Bill which is currently making its way through Parliament.

Legal commentators are surprised (and disappointed) that the provisions of the Coronavirus Bill which relate to tenants with assured shorthold tenancies do not appear to go as far as previously anticipated. Private landlords can continue to serve notice on tenants seeking possession of their rented properties under section 21 Housing Act 1988, but the notice period has now been extended from two to three months.

It appears that ongoing eviction proceedings remain unaffected, and tenants can still be evicted through the section 21 “no fault” procedure after the three month notice period expires.

The Coronavirus Bill is today due to have its first reading in the House of Lords. Further information is available on Parliament’s website: https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2019-21/coronavirus.html

For further information or advice, please contact Holly Baker from our Dispute Resolution team on [email protected].
Posted by: Holly Baker
Dispute Resolution
Luton Office