Landlords won't be able to evict tenants in lockdown areas or over Christmas
RENTERS won't be evicted in lockdown areas or over Christmas, thanks to a new law.
The rules are part of a series of new measures to protect renters.
Last month, the government has changed the law to increase notice periods to six months, meaning renters won't be kicked out over winter.
It also extended the ban on serving eviction notices by four weeks, which ends on September 20.
After then landlords will have to give renters six months notice, which means they won't have to move out until March 2021.
But the rules don't apply where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or committed fraud, for example.
Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “We have protected renters during the pandemic by banning evictions for six months – the longest eviction ban in the UK.
What to do if you can’t pay your rent
FOR private renters, speak to your landlord as soon as you can.
They may be able to defer your payment, or to allow you to pay a smaller amount – but they don't have to do this.
Social renters should speak to their housing association or local council.
If you've tried speaking to your housing association or landlord and they aren't being sympathetic, contact Shelter for advice and support. They'll be able to guide you about what to do next.
If you're finding it difficult to manage your payments because you're in debt, here are some tips for you to curb it:
Check your bank balance on a regular basis – knowing your spending patterns is the first step to managing your money
Work out your budget – by writing down your income and taking away your essential bills such as food and transport
If you have money left over, plan in advance what else you’ll spend or save. If you don’t, look at ways to cut your costs
Pay off more than the minimum – If you’ve got credit card debts aim to pay off more than the minimum amount on your credit card each month to bring down your bill quicker
Pay your most expensive credit card sooner – If you have more than one credit card and can’t pay them off in full each month, prioritise the most expensive card (the one with the highest interest rate)
Prioritise your debts – If you’ve got several debts and you can’t afford to pay them all it’s important to prioritise them. Your rent, mortgage, council tax and energy bills should be paid first because the consequences can be more serious if you don't pay
Get advice – If you’re struggling to pay your debts month after month it’s important you get advice as soon as possible, before they build up even further.
Groups like Citizens Advice, Money Advice Trust or StepChange can also help you prioritise and negotiate with your creditors to offer you more affordable repayment plans.
"To further support renters we have increased notice periods to six months, an unprecedented measure to help keep people in their homes over the winter months.
“It’s right that we strike a balance between protecting vulnerable renters and ensuring landlords whose tenants have behaved in illegal or anti-social ways have access to justice."
Research from debt charity StepChange shows around 590,000 tenants are in rent debt, with an average of £1,076 per household.
Meanwhile housing charity Shelter said 120,000 tenants in rent debt have already been issued an eviction notice – 175,000 of which have been threatened with eviction.
If tenants are unable to afford their rent then then they should speak to their landlord to agree a solution.
What are your rights as a renter
If you are a private tenant, a landlord can ask you to move out by issuing a Section 21 or Section 8 notice once you reach the end of your tenancy.
A Section 21 notice is commonly referred to as a "no-fault eviction" as landlords don't need to give a reason for asking you to leave your home.
With a Section 8 notice, landlords have to have grounds for kicking you out.
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