The government has announced that the ban on evictions, which was due to end on 23rd August, is to be extended by four weeks, pushing it back to 20th September in England and Wales.

Earlier this year the government passed the Coronavirus Act, which among other things, made it illegal for landlords to evict renters for a specified amount of time.

This meant that irrespective of the type of tenancy, or what kind of notice was served, or for whatever reason, all notice periods for evictions were extended to a minimum of three months.

The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has now increased the notice period landlords must give tenants to six months in England.

The only exceptions to this are cases involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse.

In Wales, notice periods had already been increased to six months for notices issued on or after 24th July 2020.

In Scotland, tenants are protected from eviction action until 30th September 2020 where a landlord has issued a notice on or after 7th April 2020.

What happens if a tenant is struggling to pay the rent?

The best thing for tenants to do is speak with their landlords as soon as possible to explain their situation and attempt to set up a feasible plan.

The government has said that it’s important landlords offer support and understanding to tenants who may start to see their income fluctuate.

There is no specific plan that a landlord needs to agree to, so it’s important that tenants, letting agents, and landlords work together to find solutions that will work for everyone.

If you’re a tenant, it’s also worth speaking with your local authority, as there may be help available for you.

I’m a landlord, and my tenant is causing problems. What are my options?

There simply is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to this. Landlords are urged to, where possible, work collaboratively with their tenants to come to mutual agreements.

Whether you have an issue with rent arrears or anti-social behaviour, because there may be a backlog of eviction cases in the pipeline, it’s possible landlords will not be able to gain possession of their properties for a while.

One option is to consider mediation. Organisations such as the Property Redress Scheme and The Property Ombudsman offer mediation services between landlords and tenants to aid finding a resolution over issues which have arisen during a tenancy.

Mediation is a voluntary, impartial and confidential process, which allows disputes to be resolved much quicker and with less cost than going through courts.

READ MORE: Five easy ways to make your rental feel more homely

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