Citizens Advice responds to announcement of extension to mortgage payment holidays

Today 09:37

Responding to the FCA proposals to extend the period of eligibility for mortgage holidays and ban on repossession of homes, Dame Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice says: 

“These proposals are an important recognition that many households are struggling to pay their bills during this pandemic. They will provide vital security to those whose incomes have been hit by the economic consequences of coronavirus.

“It’s crucial that as protections for home-owners are extended, private renters aren’t left behind. Our research indicates that millions of renters are finding it hard to pay their rent during this crisis, and there is now just one month to go until the current protections against eviction come to an end.

“The government pledged that no renter would be forced out of their home because of coronavirus. It’s time for them to stand by that promise.”

The charity is calling for additional protections for renters vulnerable to eviction because of the economic consequences of coronavirus. These include:

  • Accelerating the process to end section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions

  • Putting in place temporary changes allowing the courts more discretion for tenants in arrears because of coronavirus

  • When these measures are in place, implementing a ‘pre-action protocol’ of steps that landlords must follow before they can bring possession proceedings.

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A report out today (22 May 2020) from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee has endorsed these recommendations. It’s calling for the abolition of section 21 evictions and greater discretion for judges to prevent possession action where arrears have built up owing to Covid-19. 

Notes to editors

  1. 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.
  2. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  3. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  4. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  5. 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.
  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  7. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.
  8. 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.
  9. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.
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