Help available for private landlords and tenants

Tenants who live in private rented accommodation in South Kesteven, and their landlords, are being urged to seek help in resolving tenancy issues following the lifting of the Government ban on eviction proceedings.

Emergency measures preventing new evictions that were introduced in March to help people hit financially by the Coronavirus pandemic were extended to September 20. That means private sector landlords can again take court action to remove tenants over issues such as rent arrears.

South Kesteven District Council is, however, asking tenants and landlords to get in touch to access free help and support and offer the best chance of avoiding tenants being made homeless.

The Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Robert Reid, said: "Our housing officers will do everything they can to prevent unnecessary evictions. The pandemic has had a huge financial impact on many people, some of whom may have faced difficulty paying essential bills such as rent.

"That could mean tenants are at risk of losing their homes while landlords, who have their own financial responsibilities, are losing income. We believe it would be better for all concerned if every attempt was made to avoid an eviction notice being served."

Legislation has been introduced that means, until March 2021, landlords must give tenants six months' notice of eviction, except in the most serious cases such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick, said: "We have developed a package of support for renters to ensure they continue to be protected over winter. No tenant would have been legally evicted for six months at the height of the pandemic as the stay on possession proceedings was extended until 20 September.

"These changes will support landlords to progress the priority cases while keeping the public safe over winter. We will keep these measures under review and decisions will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice."

Private tenants or landlords in South Kesteven involved in, or facing the possibility of, eviction proceedings can contact the district council's housing options team for advice or assistance by emailing housingadvice@southkesteven.gov.uk or calling 01476 406080.