Tenants who are suffering financial difficulties and cannot pay their rent will be spared eviction proceedings under emergency legislation due to be enacted in parliament.

The government has revealed the full details of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement in parliament yesterday of plans to ‘ban evictions’ during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of a complete ban, landlords will have to wait three months before starting eviction proceedings against a tenant if their financial difficulties are related to Coronavirus.

Late yesterday evening the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government released a statement saying that it would bring forward emergency legislation to introduce the changes.

These will suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while ‘this national emergency is taking place’ and that ‘no new possession proceedings through applications to the court’ will start during the crisis.

Indicating how long the government believes this crisis may last, the statement also says that: “Landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period”.

It has also been announced that pre-action protocols, which are used within the social landlord sector within England and Wales to ensure that the necessary information is before a court at the first hearing, are to be strengthened and widened to include tenants within the private rented sector.

“This will support the necessary engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes and landlords will have to reach out to tenants to understand the financial position they are in,” the statement says. Secretary of State Robert Jenrick says: “The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home.”

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