Charity urges same principle for bailiffs during lockdown
StepChange Debt Charity welcomes the extension of the rental evictions ban, which is the only appropriate response in the midst of the current public health crisis. StepChange urges the Government to recognise that the same principle applies in the wider bailiff sector, and to ban all in-person bailiff visits (which are still currently allowed) for the duration of lockdown.
Around a third of private sector tenants have seen their income fall, and around 4% are in rent arrears, equating to some 180,000 households – with hundreds of thousands more worried about facing a similar position. StepChange, along with a wide variety of other debt advice, housing and landlord organisations, is urging the Government to consider not just the immediate need to prevent eviction activity on public health grounds, but also how to support tenants and landlords back to recovery.
There is a clear need for public policy to develop a support framework to maximise the chances of tenants keeping their homes, while also recognising the need to mitigate the loss of rental income on which small landlords may themselves be reliant to meet their own financial obligations.
Richard Lane, StepChange Debt Charity Director of External Affairs, says:
“We fully welcome the extension of the temporary evictions ban. We also urge Government to ban bailiff visits, and to start building the longer-term recovery framework that will be needed to tackle household debt once the pandemic eventually ends.”