Support and advice on hand ahead of national lifting of evictions ban

TENANTS who are worried about the Government’s eviction ban are being encouraged to get in touch with Barrow Borough Council for essential support and advice. 


A ban on the eviction of tenants nationwide was put in place when the country went into lockdown in March. This ban was due to end on August 23 but has now been extended until September 20. 


The council is committed to making sure there won’t be an immediate increase in homelessness in Barrow as a result of lifting the ban in four weeks time. 


A range of services are now available to people who are worried about homelessness or struggling to pay for their rented accommodation.


Barrow Borough Council’s spokesperson for housing, Councillor Kevin Hamilton, said if anyone was concerned or experiencing difficulties with paying rent they should contact the authority’s housing team. 


He said: “The coronavirus has caused a severe impact on people’s lives. Right across the country, people have lost their jobs because of the pandemic with many now facing enormous financial pressure. 


“I urge anyone who feels they are at risk of being evicted or those who are struggling to pay their rent to come to talk to us - our expert officers are on hand to offer the advice and support they will need. 


“While nationally it has been reported that homelessness levels will rise significantly after the lifting of the ban, we are committed to working with partners to do all that we can to prevent an increase in homelessness within the borough.” 


Any eviction claims that started after August 3 will now require landlords to enter into a ‘pre-action protocol’. This means landlords must attempt to agree on a resolution with their tenants before issuing a possession claim.  


Landlords will also be required to provide the courts with information on the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on their tenants.


Cllr Hamilton said: “If there are any landlords struggling with the eviction ban we’d really like to hear from them too. We’d like to avoid court hearings and evictions as much as possible. But, if eviction proceedings can’t be avoided, landlords will need to provide the courts with additional information about the effect Covid-19 has had on their tenants.


“This may also have an impact on how much time the tenants are given by the court to vacate the property.”


To contact the council’s Homelessness and Advice Service call 01229 876599. Call 01229 876345 to speak to someone on the Rent/Arrears Team or email housing@barrowbc.gov.uk