The government is to ban evictions and introduce three-month mortgage payment holidays for landlords whose tenants are struggling to pay rent due to coronavirus.
The package of measures will mean that landlords cannot start the process of eviction for renters in either social or private accommodation for at least the next three months. The measures also mean that the three-month mortgage payment holiday announced on Tuesday for private homeowners will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The government will also introduce interest payment holidays for people struggling to pay back Help to Buy equity loans due to coronavirus. It will also issue guidance that “asks landlords to show compassion and allow tenants who are affected by [coronavirus] to remain in their homes wherever possible”.
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.
“These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage, which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.”
Matt Downie, director of policy and external affairs at Crisis, said: “This is a hugely welcome announcement. While we await the detail, we hope this means anyone served an eviction notice will not be left facing homelessness as a result of the pandemic.”
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, added: “Landlord groups welcome government support. We recognise the exceptional circumstances and we will work collaboratively with government to ensure these measures protect both landlords and tenants.”