David Watts

Liberal Democrat Councillor For Bramcote, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Newark, Editor of Challenge Magazine for the Green Liberal Democrats and Crime and Policing Spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Learn more

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Govt refuse to address evictions loophole leaving 55,000 households at risk

by David Watts on 23 September, 2020

Today, the Conservatives blocked the Liberal Democrats’ attempt to close the loophole in the Government’s legislation to end the eviction ban, which has left an estimated 55,000 households at risk of being evicted since Monday.

The motion, put forward by the Liberal Democrat Housing spokesperson in the House of Lords, Baroness Grender, would have effectively abolished the Government’s Statutory Instrument, forcing Ministers to address the issue.

On 18 March, the Government promised “no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home”.

The Government’s Statutory Instrument (Statutory Instrument Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 ) which ensures a 6 month notice period for evictions only applies to evictions after the 29th of August 2020, meaning that those landlords who started proceedings between the 23rd of March and the 28th of August can reinvoke those proceedings. 

The motion was defeated 126 votes to 266.

Following the vote, Baroness Grender said:

“The subject of this vote today was 55,000 households teetering on the brink of eviction. The Conservatives promised that no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus would lose their home, but now all it takes is for a landlord to reinvoke an eviction notice and these families will be searching for a new home. 

“The fact that during a second wave of an epidemic and in the run up to winter some families may now be facing homelessness thanks to the Government’s legislation is shameful.

“Although this motion was a rather unprecedented tactic, we find ourselves in unprecedented times. It was a missed opportunity to help all those families threatened with eviction, with no cash and no options, who are in desperate need of support.  

“The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for all those facing eviction. It is about time the Conservatives stopped ignoring the most vulnerable and stuck to their promises.”

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