With the extension of the ‘winter truce’ period, it is becoming increasingly difficult for landlords, and tenants alike, to keep up to date with what can and can’t happen when it comes to evictions.
Here we recap on what the winter truce means and the changes affecting both landlords and tenants.
What is the winter truce?
In an effort to protect tenants against the financial impact of Covid-19, in September 2020 the Government announced that tenants facing eviction could not be evicted during the period 11 December 2020 to 11 January 2021. As of 8 January 2021, that period has been extended to at least 21 February 2021, upon which the ban on evictions will be reviewed again.
What are the exceptions to the ban on evictions?
The exceptions to the ban are as follows:
- Possession orders made against trespassers
- Possession orders made wholly or partly on the basis of anti-social behaviour, a false statement or domestic violence
- Where the property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant
- Where there are substantial rent arrears
What does the winter truce extension mean for landlords and tenants?
It is important to remember that the truce is designed to protect the most vulnerable in society. However there is a significant change that landlords and tenants should take note of:
Under the previous winter truce, ‘substantial rent arrears’ was defined as 9 months’ worth of rent arrears or more outstanding on the date the order for possession was granted, and any rent arrears accrued after 23 March 2020 could not be included in the calculation.
Under the extended winter truce, these conditions have been relaxed and evictions can now be conducted if 6 months’ worth of rent arrears or more are outstanding. There is also no requirement for the 6 months’ worth of rent arrears to have been outstanding at the date on which the possession order was made, nor for the rent arrears to have accrued before 23 March 2020.
We are here to support both landlords and tenants and if you are having any kind of difficulties in regard to the winter truce, or indeed any other issues regarding renting or letting, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our lettings team: https://johnshepherd.com/our-team/