18 September 2020| | 2 min read
Support for renters as eviction ban ends
Newcastle City Council are urging residents in the city to get in touch if they are struggling to pay their rent as a result of Covid-19 as the government’s ban on evictions comes to an end on 20 September.
Despite extending the ban on evictions for commercial tenants to the end of the year, Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick, has refused to do the same for residential tenants.
In many cases landlords are still required to give six-months’ notice but that may be reduced to just four weeks for those struggling the most financially as a result of coronavirus.
And although imminent evictions are likely to be put on hold while the new restrictions that came into force on 18 September 2020 this will not prevent notices being served and evictions being carried once they are lifted.
In addition to calling on the government to do more for tenants and landlords who are struggling financially as a result of the current pandemic the council are supporting residents by adopting an approach that includes targeted advice and a focus on preventing homelessness.
The Private Rented Service Newcastle (PRSN) has been providing help and advice to private sector tenants and landlords throughout the pandemic with Your Homes Newcastle supporting council tenants to help avoid evictions. And the Emergency Housing Panel, established as part of the Covid-19 response has proved to be really successful throughout the crisis in helping to reduce homelessness throughout the crisis.
Councillor Linda Hobson, Cabinet Member for Housing at Newcastle City Council said “A recent report found that 58% of renters are worried about losing their homes when the ban on evictions is lifted. In Newcastle we are doing everything we can to help but the government need to act now to avoid an increase in homelessness across the country.
“We are calling for a new, properly funded Covid-19 Home Retention Scheme and other measures such as the removal of the benefit cap to help tenants and landlords are facing financial difficulties through no fault of their own. The government need to recognise that behind the statistics are real people, including families with children and older and vulnerable people, who are struggling to keep a roof over their head.
“I understand that when you’re worried about your health and finances it can feel like you have nowhere to turn but please, if you live in Newcastle and you are struggling to pay your rent or your home is at risk, get in touch and we will do our best to help.”
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said “While we welcome the fact the government has banned the use of bailiffs to force people out of their homes while local restrictions are in place this is little more than tinkering around the edges.
“We need to see real, long-term action to support tenants who are at risk of losing their homes without landlords, many of whom rely on the rent they receive to pay their own bills, having to bear the financial burden.
“We are doing what we can to help but the government need to step up now if we are to avoid an unprecedented homelessness crisis across the country.”
Council tenants who are concerned about paying their rent or would like advice and support about their finances should get in touch with YHN’s Financial Inclusion team by emailing Financial.firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling their Income Collection Officer on 0191 278 7725 as soon as possible.