The government’s decision to bring forward emergency legislation to protect private renters from eviction has been warmly welcomed by ARLA Propertymark.
Many tenants were concerned that they might not be able to pay rents if they fell ill, lost pay or had to self-isolate, forcing the government to act now to protect tenants affected by coronavirus.
It is not yet clear how long the evictions ban for tenants affected by the virus will last, but Labour wants to see the law changed so that landlords are barred from seizing possession of a rented property if people fall behind on payments due to coronavirus between 1 March and 1 September, with an option to extend the timeframe.
It would cover more than 8.5 million households, including private renters and those living in council housing or housing association properties, who may face financial hardship if forced to self isolate.
ARLA Propertymark’s chief executive, David Cox, said: “We agree that the government must do “whatever it takes” to safeguard tenants in these unprecedented times.
“We of course have to support tenants as they face uncertainty over the coming months, while as the Prime Minister has said, ensuring we don’t simply pass on the problem to other actors in the economy.”