During the pandemic, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has stepped in to ban evicting private tenants for any reason for three months – due to reviewed in June.
Labour is urging the government to implement a five-point plan to protect renters.
The plan calls for:
- Extending the ban on evictions as a ‘holding measure’ to allow new rules to safeguarding homes for tenants
- Keeping more tenants in their homes who have fallen into rent arrears because of coronavirus
- Offering a two-year pay back arrangement
- Banning bankruptcies arising from rent arrears cases
- Increasing benefits to help with housing costs
ACORN, Living Rent and London Renters Union want the government to go further.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other leading Tories they write that the government should scrap all rents, scrap Section 21 no fault evictions and cancel any arrears until the end of the lockdown.
However, the letter does not offer any data or links to sources to verify the claims.
According to new data from the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), 44% of landlords have had requests for a rent holiday from tenants and 90% have agreed arrangements to delay the payment.
UK Finance, the trade body for lenders, has granted a payment holiday on 1.6 million mortgages – one in seven of all home loans.
Stephen Jones, the UK Finance CEO, said: “Lenders understand that many households are seeing their finances squeezed due to the coronavirus pandemic and we are working hard to help customers get through these tough times.
“The industry has acted quickly to support homeowners through this crisis and has taken decisive steps to ensure that eligible customers on payment holidays due to Covid-19 can opt for the security of fixing their monthly mortgage payments going forward.”