Ministers have until Thursday (16th July) to bring in new laws preventing a wave of homelessness across the country, the Labour party has claimed.

Shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire believes the tight parliamentary timetable means that it’s the last date for passing a bill to stop the current eviction ban lapsing on 23rd August.

Earlier this week she labelled Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement that landlords will benefit from a reduction in stamp duty a “bung”, which would only worsen the housing crisis by reducing the supply of homes.

“The Government’s policies have helped property developers, second home-owners and landlords make money from housing, but they are doing nothing to help thousands in rented accommodation,” says Debbonaire.

Huge numbers

“We urgently need better support to help people pay their rent, and legal changes to help good tenants keep their homes. Otherwise we will see huge numbers sleeping on the streets this winter.”

Labour has called for a targeted ban on evictions for those who fall behind on their payments due to Covid-19; it proposes a temporary change in the law so that non-payment of rent doesn’t count automatically as legal grounds for eviction, instead giving courts discretion.

It’s urging the Government to make this change, along with its commitment to scrap section 21 evictions.

Also this week, London mayor Sadiq Khan warned that plans for a pre-action protocol to possession proceedings in the private rented sector would fail to prevent a cliff edge in evictions once the eviction ban is lifted.

This pre-action protocol would require private landlords to meet the same rules as social landlords before issuing possession proceedings at the end of the ban.

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