Citizens Advice response to extension of ban on bailiff enforced evictions
Responding to the government announcement of an extension of the ban bailiff enforced evictions, Alistair Cromwell, Acting Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“The government has made the right decision to extend this protection. Renters who are struggling with arrears shouldn’t face the prospect of losing the roof over their head when everyone is being asked to stay at home.
“However, there are still hundreds of thousands of people in arrears and this debt will continue to hang over them. The government should put in place targeted financial support for tenants in England who’ve fallen behind on their rent.”
On Tuesday 5th January, Citizens Advice published new research which estimated that half a million renters remained in arrears, with the average amount owed being £730, which would mean around £360 million is owed across the country.
The charity called for:
A legal ban on bailiff action and pause on all possession proceedings during the national lockdown in England and in tiers 2 and above beyond 11 January
targeted financial support for people in England who’ve built up rent arrears. The government should consider a system of grants and government-backed loans - comparable to schemes in Scotland and Wales - to help people pay back their rent arrears sustainably and stay in their homes.
Notes to editors
- Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
- Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
- The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.
- We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.