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Labour urges extended eviction ban

Labour is calling on the government to draw up emergency measures to protect renters beyond June, as the Bank of England warned that the country faces its worst recession in 300 years.

The government banned any new evictions of private rented sector tenants for three months in March as part of the emergency coronavirus laws drawn up at the start of the crisis. This runs out at the end of June, but the Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, has hinted it could be extended.

The lord chief justice is looking at putting a “pre-action protocol” in place to avoid a flurry of eviction proceedings starting on the day the moratorium is lifted, by making it so that landlords have a duty to try to reach an agreement on how rent owed would be paid back without resorting to court.

Labour’s shadow secretary of state for housing, Thangam Debbonaire, said: “The government has paused evictions for three months and answered Labour’s call to increase the local housing allowance. Both are welcome, but do not go far enough. It will take time for people to recover from this crisis and they need all the support we can give them to prevent what would be an unprecedented and devastating spike in homelessness.”

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