Novara Media, April 2020
The government has announced a three-month mortgage holiday for property owners, but is yet to announce rent suspensions – despite the fact many have lost much or all of their income.
The only concrete government guidance related to renters is a three-month eviction ban, after which point landlords are free to evict tenants and start proceedings on rent arrears.
With rent still an obligation, many tenants face pressure to circumvent public health advice and go out to work, if they are able to find any.
Currently, the London Renters’ Union (LRU) is calling for the government to suspend all rent payments immediately in order to protect public health and prevent an eviction and rent arrears crisis after the lockdown.
The LRU has started a petition that has reached over 100,000 signatures, and has written to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to say that a failure to suspend rent is worsening the public health emergency.