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Citizens Advice response to extension of ban on bailiff enforced evictions

Responding to the government announcement of an extension of the ban bailiff enforced evictions, Alistair Cromwell, Acting Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The government has made the right decision to extend this protection. Renters who are struggling with arrears shouldn’t face the prospect of losing the roof over their head when everyone is being asked to stay at home. 

“However, there are still hundreds of thousands of people in arrears and this debt will continue to hang over them. The government should put in place targeted financial support for tenants in England who’ve fallen behind on their rent.”

Background

On Tuesday 5th January, Citizens Advice published new research which estimated that half a million renters remained in arrears, with the average amount owed being £730, which would mean around £360 million is owed across the country.

The charity called for:

  • A legal ban on bailiff action and pause on all possession proceedings during the national lockdown in England and in tiers 2 and above beyond 11 January

  • targeted financial support for people in England who’ve built up rent arrears. The government should consider a system of grants and government-backed loans - comparable to schemes in Scotland and Wales - to help people pay back their rent arrears sustainably and stay in their homes.