A BAN on evicting tenants during the pandemic has been extended for a month, but Oxford renters have said it needs to go further.

The government's ban on evictions will now last until September 20, and means that most people in rented accommodation cannot be evicted by the landlord, except in very special circumstances.

The announcement, officially made by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government yesterday afternoon, came on the last working day of the ban, before it was supposed to end on Monday.

Oxford Tenants Union spokeswoman Lucy Warin said the Government needed to take bolder action to protect renters, like the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had done.

Ms Warin added: "Just kicking this down the lane until September is a sign that the government has been take by surprise. This is not a solution, this is them deferring a decision."

Another union for tenants, ACORN Oxford, is due to hold a demonstration today, calling for a longer extension for the ban, outside Oxford Magistrates Court.

But Ben Beadle, CEO of the National Residential Landlords Association said: “A blanket extension is unacceptable, especially so close to the deadline.

“An enormous amount of work as gone into finding a balance between supporting tenants who have been affected by the pandemic and preventing significant financial harm to landlords, in accordance with the Government’s promise. This announcement satisfies no-one."

He added a plan was needed to help households to pay bills and to compensate landlords for lost income.

Ahead of announcement Oxford City Council's cabinet member for planning and housing delivery, Alex Hollingsworth had written to the secretary of state saying that ending the ban would have 'a disproportionate effect in Oxford'.

After the Government extended the ban, Mr Hollingsworth said: “While the extension of the eviction ban is welcome, this is only a tiny step in the right direction.

"As things stand, renters will be in the same position in a month’s time as they were this morning: worried, stressed and defenceless against eviction.

"The government needs to keep its promise to end Section 21 evictions and use the extra time to come up with a plan that won’t leave private tenants facing the cliff edge of homelessness in a month from now."