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Evictions ban fails victims of abuse

The decision to extend the ban on evictions in rented housing will compound the suffering of victims of domestic violence and anti-social behaviour, according to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

As a result of the decision by Government to prevent any evictions taking place until the end of August, landlords are powerless to take action against tenants committing domestic abuse or making the lives of fellow tenants or neighbours a misery.

According to research last year by the University of Bristol, 38% of victims of domestic abuse live in private rented housing, a higher proportion than any other tenure. The charity Refuge, which runs the Domestic Violence Helpline, has said that there has been a 66% increase in calls to the helpline during the pandemic.

In cases of domestic violence, landlords will often end the tenancy agreement and offer a fresh one, for the same property, to the victim independent of the abuser. The NRLA argues that the ban goes against the spirit of a report by the then Victims Commissioner, Baroness Newlove, who warned last year that “victims of anti-social behaviour are being let down by police, local councils and housing providers.”

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