The eviction ban brought in due to the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted in Sefton on Sunday September 20th, leaving renters and landlords unsure about how to proceed.
Campaigners have been calling for an extension to the eviction ban, with many believing it will lead to a rise in homelessness, reports The Champion. But landlords claim it is unfair for the ban to carry on because it has left them powerless to oust those committing anti-social behaviour or withholding rent for reasons unrelated to Covid-19.
To help ensure that the risks of eviction are minimised, Sefton Council’s Homeless Prevention Service is looking to contact tenants and landlords. By emailing email@example.com or calling 07966 698065 or 07870 379586, private, rented and social housing tenants can get support to help them maintain their tenancy. They can also provide assistance with moving on to more affordable, and suitable accommodation if required. Landlords facing issues such as rent arrears and late or inconsistent rent payments or who have concerns about vulnerable tenants can also contact the team for support in resolving the situation.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for communities and housing, said: “We know that COVID-19 has had an impact on many people’s circumstances and has had a negative effect on many households’ incomes, which could make housing costs a problem. The sooner tenants facing problems contact us, the better the chance that we can work with them to find practical solutions that avoid conflicts, evictions and the costs of legal proceedings.”
Cllr Hardy added: “And by working with landlords facing difficulties, we can also help them reach solutions without the legal costs and lost rent that can arise from disputes and evictions.”
Sefton Council wants to hear from tenants who have received an eviction notice or have rent arrears, who are managing outstanding and current debts and who are trying to reduce their expenses or get the most from their income. People having problems applying for Discretionary Housing Payments and with concerns about their own or family members’ mental health, drug or alcohol issues affecting your tenancy should also contact the service.