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Many landlords would have been frustrated by the recent government announcement to extend the temporary ban on evictions to 22 February 2021. While consideration is rightly given to tenants facing hardship during the pandemic, it seems that, until now, little thought has been given to the ramifications faced by landlords.

What hasn’t been widely publicised however, is a recent variation to The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) Regulations 2021 which came into force on 11 January 2021.

Previously, landlords were only able to evict tenants who had rent arrears of at least nine months but crucially, that excluded arrears that had accrued from 23 March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic.

The recent change however, has seen the requirement of nine months arrears slashed to six and there is no longer a requirement to disregard arrears from 23 March 2020. This is a significant change which, after a difficult year, should come as a sigh of relief for struggling landlords.

It remains to be seen whether the general eviction ban will be extended after 22 February 2021, but considering the soaring numbers of Covid-19 cases in England, a further extension is likely.

If you are a landlord or tenant impacted by Covid-19, our property disputes lawyers can talk you through your options.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.