With the Government's eviction ban soon coming to an end, landlords and tenants are being reminded that support is at hand.

When lockdown started in March, landlords were banned from evicting tenants, in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and to stop people being made homeless.

That ban was set to end yesterday, but the Government announced on Friday that it has been extended for another four weeks.

Landlords and agents are legally required to provide a minimum of three months’ notice before possession proceedings can begin, but under new rules, six month notice periods are to be in place until at least March 31, 2021.

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One of the councils in Oxfordshire is encouraging landlords to talk to it before evicting tenants.

Cherwell District Council's housing team can offer landlords support to try to avoid people being made homeless as the country comes out of the coronavirus pandemic.

These include working with the landlord and their tenants to resolve rent arrears through mutually agreed repayment plans.

Councillor John Donaldson, Cherwell's lead member for housing, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has put financial pressures on people due to loss of jobs and income, and that will include both landlords and tenants.

“We are asking anyone thinking of evicting a tenant to talk to us before serving an eviction notice. Our expert officers have advice and support to offer.

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"We want to avoid evictions wherever possible and, with delays in court hearings expected, I should think that most landlords will feel the same way too.

“If eviction proceedings cannot be avoided, landlords will need to provide the courts with extra information about the effect coronavirus has had on the tenant and their family. They will have to follow possession proceedings to the letter.”

Landlords will be expected to consider their tenants’ financial circumstances and rent arrears repayment plans before pursuing an eviction. For evictions due to arrears, the landlord must also provide a full rent history covering the last two years.

Tenants will still be protected from illegal eviction and harassment under The Protection From Eviction Act 1977. If you are worried you may become homeless, call 01295 753751.