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Citizens Advice responds to announcement of extension to mortgage payment holidays

Responding to the FCA proposals to extend the period of eligibility for mortgage holidays and ban on repossession of homes, Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice says: 

“These proposals are an important recognition that many households are struggling to pay their bills during this pandemic. They will provide vital security to those whose incomes have been hit by the economic consequences of coronavirus.

“It’s crucial that as protections for home-owners are extended, private renters aren’t left behind. Our research indicates that millions of renters are finding it hard to pay their rent during this crisis, and there is now just one month to go until the current protections against eviction come to an end.

“The government pledged that no renter would be forced out of their home because of coronavirus. It’s time for them to stand by that promise.”

The charity is calling for additional protections for renters vulnerable to eviction because of the economic consequences of coronavirus. These include:

  • Accelerating the process to end section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions

  • Putting in place temporary changes allowing the courts more discretion for tenants in arrears because of coronavirus

  • When these measures are in place, implementing a ‘pre-action protocol’ of steps that landlords must follow before they can bring possession proceedings.

A report out today (22 May 2020) from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee has endorsed these recommendations. It’s calling for the abolition of section 21 evictions and greater discretion for judges to prevent possession action where arrears have built up owing to Covid-19.