Sim Sekhon: Eviction U-turn and a shift in balance.

When the eviction ban was first extended back in June, I said the consequences would roll on and on. Now, with a further four-week extension just announced, I’m doubling down on that statement.

However, a surprise twist to the bombshell six-month notice period brings a touch of solace to landlords. The government revealed that agents and landlords will only need to give four weeks’ notice of their intention to repossess a property for tenants who have committed anti-social behaviour. And for those who have committed acts of domestic violence, only two weeks’ notice will need to be given. In cases of tenant rent arrears, landlords will now only be required to give four weeks’ notice where a tenant has built six months of arrears.

Yes, I agree it’s a difficult situation and tenants must be protected (government statistics show that 12% of the workforce are still on furlough) but, like I said two months ago, the small-scale landlords must be equally protected. It’s good to finally see a shift in the balance.

I do believe this second U-turn also takes the interest of the courts into consideration. They now have an additional four weeks to deal with the enormous backlog of eviction cases that have been reactivated.

Let’s just hope in four weeks’ time we aren’t facing the same issue once again.