Tenants union Acorn is urging the government for rent suspensions and calling for repossession proceedings to start from the beginning as it warns of an “eviction boom” after the coronavirus pandemic.
The group has launched a petition calling for more to be done to protect renters, which includes an immediate and permanent end to Section 21, a rent waiver for the duration of the crisis via an amendment to Section 8 and landlords should have to start the process for any paused evictions from scratch once the ban on court proceedings has lifted.
The group is also demanding for a government legislated mortgage freeze during the crisis.
The petition said: “Nothing has been done to protect renters from getting into rent arrears. The government has said that landlords and tenants should agree repayment plans but have not legislated for this and have given renters no security on this. Renters remain at the whim of landlords.
“Once the crisis is over, there can be no doubt that renters will be evicted because of rent arrears accrued due to and during the Covid-19 crisis.”
It added: “Renters and mortgage-holders will experience financial hardship as a result of the crisis. There has been an exponential rise in applications for Universal Credit and benefits, at a time when the number of workers is very low due to the virus. This is putting extreme strain on the system.”