The ban on evictions during the coronavirus pandemic must be extended beyond June to avoid a surge in homelessness, Hackney Council has told the government.

The call comes as part of a request for a long-term plan to make the private rented sector more secure, with the government’s initial three-month ban on evictions for private renters due to come to an end when eviction court hearings begin again from 25 June.

Landlords are currently prevented from evicting tenants, but they are still able to charge full rent – leading to concerns of a surge in evictions for those put into financial difficulty by the coronavirus crisis once the ban is lifted. The Council has called for a plan to provide assistance with rent shortfalls and time to make overdue payments.

A letter to Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, said:

The Council has also encouraged landlords to go beyond the legal requirements to protect their tenants. A letter to landlords and letting agents in Hackney said:

With around a third of Hackney residents renting their home, tens of thousands of people in the borough are living in one of the most expensive private rented sectors in the country. In recent years, rents have risen much faster than incomes, leaving many renters spending a large proportion of their income on rent and unable to build up savings in the event of an emergency.

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