News | Published March 19 2020

Renters to be protected from eviction during coronavirus pandemic, Johnson promises

Emergency legislation to protect private renters will be brought forward by the government, according to prime minister, Boris Johnson.

In yesterday’s PMQs, leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn said that tenants were “worried sick” whether they would be able to pay rent if they fell ill.

In his question, Corbyn said that protecting private renters was in the “interests of public health".

He continued that those who became ill, lost pay or had to self-isolate were concerned about how to meet their rental bill.

The decision to close schools on Friday has put further pressure on Johnson to announce the government policy on the issue.

The announcement follows chancellor Rishi Sunak’s promise of £350 billion in help for companies.

The chancellor has also promised mortgage “holidays” for the next three months during the coronavirus pandemic.

Johnson said the government will bring forward legislation preventing renters from being evicted, however, he sought to do so in a manner that would avoid “pass[ing] on the problem".

He continued that the government was "taking steps to protect other actors in the economy".

Johnson concluded that: "The House should expect further decisions to be taken imminently on schools and how to be sure we square the circle, making sure we stop spread of the disease but relieve pressure on the NHS."

Kate Henderson of the National Housing Federation promised that housing associations will not evict tenants who fall behind on rent payments following the impact of the virus.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
March 19 2020

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