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Wellbeing Café: Housing First

May 1, 2021 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

This week’s talk is by

Alan Rice

of Weston Housing AcTion

about

Housing First

At the September 2020 North Somerset Council meeting, Alan expressed concern about tenants who have lost their income due to Covid-19 and could be forced out of their home under a Section 21 notice of eviction where no reason has to be given. In normal times, this only gives 56 days to leave the property and there is no defence, something that may severely affect the tenant’s mental health. Landlords often threaten tenants who complain about lack of maintenance, damp and mouldy conditions.

The government has made regulations extending the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020, meaning that from 29 August 2020 landlords have not been able to start possession proceedings in most circumstances unless they have given their tenants six months’ notice. Shorter notice periods will apply to certain cases where the landlord wants to evict the tenant because of rent arrears of 6 months or more, anti-social behaviour (including rioting), certain cases of domestic abuse in the social sector, false statement, where the tenant has passed away or where the tenant does not have the right to rent under immigration legislation.

Government non statutory guidance for landlords in the private and social rented sectors during the Coronavirus outbreak is to strongly advise them not to commence or continue possession proceedings during this challenging time without a very good reason to do so. At the moment, a section 21 notice must give at least 6 months’ notice and a landlord can only apply to a court after the notice period ends. The courts are open but some hearings may be held remotely, there is a backlog of cases and the eviction process takes time. Bailiffs cannot carry out section 21 evictions until after 31 May due to the lockdown.

Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/92192648412?pwd=TTRlbndzV2orT2pSaHZpOWRjMW5qUT09

Meeting ID: 921 9264 8412 Passcode: 840031

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