Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed that the ban will remain in place for all but the most serious cases for another six weeks.

The ban was initially introduced at the beginning of the pandemic in March of last year, in an effort to protect renters during the pandemic.

The government had already been until 22 February, having been due to expire on 11 January.

The minister said:

“We have taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic, including introducing a six-month notice period and financial support to help those struggling to pay their rent.

“By extending the ban on the enforcement of evictions by bailiffs, in all but the most serious cases, we are ensuring renters remain protected during this difficult time.

“Our measures strike the right balance between protecting tenants and enabling landlords to exercise their right to justice.”

However, some housing charities have expressed concerns about mounting arrears for private renters and urged the government to take a longer-term view on the challenges of the private rental market.

The chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter, Polly Neate, said:

“Thousands of renters who’ve been living in fear of the bailiffs’ knock at the door, have today been given a few more weeks in their home.

“This short extension to the bailiff ban may keep people safe for now, but it’s not an answer to the evictions crisis. Renters are still being served with eviction notices every day, and our helpline is flooded with calls from those desperately worried about paying their rent.

“Before the ban is lifted, the government must give renters a real way out of debt. That means a lifeline of emergency grants to help pay off ‘Covid-arrears’ so people can avoid the terrifying risk of eviction altogether.”