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One million Britons fear losing homes when eviction ban ends tomorrow

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Are you an affected renter or landlord? 

Email katie.feehan@mailonline.co.uk with your story 

As the ban on evictions is lifted almost one million households fear being made homeless, new research has suggested.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation said 400,000 have already been served with an eviction notice or told they may be evicted and a further 450,000 households are in arrears with rent, JRF said. 

A ban on evictions in England ends today, leading to warnings from housing campaigners that tenants face a wave of proceedings as bailiffs are allowed to resume using court orders for repossession.

JRF said the temporary ban on bailiff-enforced evictions has provided much-needed security to renters during the pandemic.

The ban was introduced in March 2020 and has been extended several times throughout the pandemic. 

The JRF survey of more than 10,000 households suggested ‘clear warning signs’ of a spike in evictions and homelessness as the ban lifts, the report said.

However, the lift will be welcomed by landlords, some of whom have been left with no recourse to take against tenants who have been simply unwilling to pay rent rather than those who are unable.

John Lewis, who rents out eight properties in Northamptonshire, says he feels like all landlords have been tarred with the same brush.

More than 800,000 households renting a home are worried about being evicted in the next few months, new research has suggested as the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions is lifted

More than 800,000 households renting a home are worried about being evicted in the next few months, new research has suggested as the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions is lifted

Speaking to MailOnline, he said: ‘I have bent over backwards to ensure that my tenants have been supported during hard times.

‘The main problem is the small percentage that choose not to pay the rent because they know that you cannot evict them.

‘Instead they have chosen not to answer emails and letters because they know you won’t visit them and some have even said ‘take a mortgage holiday.’

Mr Lewis says he has been forced to take some tenants to small claims court because he has been unable to evict them. 

‘I have always worked with tenants when they have struggled but the government have taken any control out of our hands.

‘It’s almost as though the government think that they can say and do whatever they want and the landlord suffers.

‘I know that there are bad landlords out there but they are a minority but we are all being tarred with the same brush.’

Rudolf Bozart says the pandemic has left him in arrears of £3,400 after he lost two jobs and now works as a delivery driver

Rudolf Bozart says the pandemic has left him in arrears of £3,400 after he lost two jobs and now works as a delivery driver

Meanwhile, renter Rudolf Bozart says the pandemic has left him in rent arrears of £3,400.

The company Mr Bozart worked for went bust and after finding a replacement job as a carer, he was then made redundant. 

The 26-year-old, who now delivers takeaways, told the BBC: ‘It is stressful and it’s affecting my health and it gives a lot of sleepless nights.

‘I just don’t know when I’m going to wake up to the dreadful message, saying that this is your notice because of the rent arrears.

‘So far the ban on eviction was my safety net for me not ending up on the streets.’

Rachelle Earwaker, of JRF, said: ‘For the 450,000 families locked in rent debt, the prospect of securing a mortgage is simply unimaginable and, worse still, many will now struggle to secure a new home in the private rented sector just as the eviction ban ends.

‘High levels of arrears are restricting families’ ability to pay the bills and forcing many to rely on hidden borrowing.

‘This is not only deeply unjust, it is also economically naïve and risks hampering our economic recovery, which is reliant on household spending increasing as society continues to reopen.

‘The Government’s decision to provide a generous tax break to wealthier homeowners through the stamp duty holiday while failing to protect renters points to a worrying two-tier recovery in which those who were prospering prior to the pandemic will continue to do so while those who have been hit hard will sink even further behind.

‘The cost of boosting support to tackle rent arrears is a fraction of the cost of the stamp duty holiday.’

Housing campaigners warn that tenants face a wave of proceedings as bailiffs are allowed to resume using court orders for repossession as the ban is lifted from today (stock image)

Housing campaigners warn that tenants face a wave of proceedings as bailiffs are allowed to resume using court orders for repossession as the ban is lifted from today (stock image)

The Government says the measures will ensure renters continue to be protected with longer notice periods for the coming months, while allowing landlords to access justice.

It claims 45 per cent of private landlords own just one property and are highly vulnerable to rent arrears. 

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said: ‘As COVID restrictions are eased in line with the Roadmap out of lockdown, we will ensure tenants continue to be supported with longer notice periods, while also balancing the need for landlords to access justice.’

Mr Pincher added that ‘crucial’ financial support also remains in place including the furlough scheme which has been extended to the end of September and the uplift to Universal Credit.

Housing minister Christopher Pincher says the lift on the ban is about finding balance between supporting tenants and justice for landlords

Housing minister Christopher Pincher says the lift on the ban is about finding balance between supporting tenants and justice for landlords

Meanwhile, homelessness charity Shelter has warned the Government must do more to protect renters against the imminent threat of eviction and homelessness by providing financial aid. 

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘The lifting of the eviction ban signals the beginning of the end for many renters facing homelessness.

‘Thousands of people will wake up on June 1 knowing they’ll soon be kicked out of their home, with nowhere to go.

‘The ban has been a lifeline for private renters who have weathered job losses, falling incomes and rising debts in this pandemic.

‘But what happens now? Longer notice periods, while they last, will give some worried renters valuable time.

‘But come September, anyone facing eviction will have just weeks to find somewhere else to live.

‘The government needs to do more to stem the tide of rising evictions. It cannot waver from delivering a Renters’ Reform Bill that scraps Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions altogether. And in the meantime, it must offer renters with crippling Covid-arrears a package of financial aid.’

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Tetchy Tánaiste stirs the Stormont pot

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Some of the most petulant reaction to the latest protocol row has come from Fine Gael, which may explain unwise comments on direct rule and a Border poll from Leo Varadkar.

Speaking at a Co-operation North event in Dublin on Tuesday night, the Tánaiste said direct rule was not a viable long-term alternative to devolution. If Stormont is not restored quickly other options must be considered, with the best forum to do so being the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) of the Belfast Agreement.

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Tiny one-room flat with BATH in the lounge and kitchen by the bed is up for rent at £1,000-a-month

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Tiny one-room flat with BATH in the lounge and kitchen just few feet away from the bed goes up for rent for £1,000-a-month in London

  • A cramped studio flat that is up for rent in south London is so small it has a bath located in the lounge
  • The property, that is in the ‘highly sought after’ Wimbledon area, has a bed only feet away from the kitchen
  • Renters will have to fork out over £1,000-a-month to live in the odd space, though bills are included

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A tiny studio flat has been mocked because it costs over £1,000-a-month to rent and the bath is located in the lounge.

While the bed is found only feet away from the kitchen area, with a giant telly on the wall.

The south London property is on the market to rent for an eye-watering amount considering its size.

The bath is right by the back door leading out to a small private area on a patio garden.

The listing states that it has been ‘designed to maximise the space available’ and adds that the bathroom has ‘been cleverly designed to be fully hidden from view’, but this appears just to be a shower curtain.

A compact studio flat in Wimbledon is charging more than £1,000 a month for the luxury of having a bath in the lounge (pictured)

A compact studio flat in Wimbledon is charging more than £1,000 a month for the luxury of having a bath in the lounge (pictured)

The property's bed is located just feet away from the 'Kitchenette area', which boasts a microwave and kettle

The property’s bed is located just feet away from the ‘Kitchenette area’, which boasts a microwave and kettle

The flat has a 'self contained pied-a-tierre' (pictured) with a small table and two chairs

The flat has a ‘self contained pied-a-tierre’ (pictured) with a small table and two chairs

The flat in upmarket Wimbledon Village will cost lodgers £1,150 per month – or £265 per week – to live in it.

Bills are included within the rental and there is a secure parking space available.

One home hunter fumed: ‘London cost of living is so disgusting that you pay £1,150 per month to rent a bath in a bed/kitchen as advertised on Rightmove today.

‘Living in a decent home is an essential and fundamental basic human right.

‘It shouldn’t be a privileged novelty.’

The letting agent said it would be ideal for someone to rent for the Wimbledon tennis tournament which starts next month.

The All England Tennis Club, where the grass championship is hosted, is just half a mile away.

A Twitter user bashed the listing, calling the price of the studio flat 'disgusting'

A Twitter user bashed the listing, calling the price of the studio flat ‘disgusting’

The listing says the flat is 'finished to an exceptional standard' and is available for short term rent

The listing says the flat is ‘finished to an exceptional standard’ and is available for short term rent

The toilet is found opposite to the bath and appears to have more than a curtain separating it from the lounge, unlike the bath

The toilet is found opposite to the bath and appears to have more than a curtain separating it from the lounge, unlike the bath

It is being let by CHK Mountford and advertised via Rightmove, the property listing reads: ‘Set on the ground floor of a wonderful detached private residence in the heart of Wimbledon Village is this self-contained pied a tierre.

‘The property has been immaculately refurbished to a very high standard and has been cleverly designed to maximise the space available.

‘To the front of the property is a small private patio.

‘The room is fully furnished and there is a small kitchenette area complete with sink, microwave and fridge.

‘There is a separate WC and a bath which has been cleverly designed to be fully hidden from view if required plus a generous storage cupboard/wardrobe.

‘One parking space is available and is set behind the properties private gates offering complete secure parking.

‘This property would be ideal for a working professional looking for a weekday base and who is looking for something which is centrally located and finished to a high standard.

‘All bills are included within the monthly rental.

‘Available on a short or long term basis, please note that for a short term rental the cost would be on a weekly basis.

‘And would be at a higher rental amount than for a long term tenancy – please contact the office directly for verification of the weekly rental.

‘The property is available for rental during Wimbledon Tennis event and is the perfect base for those wanting to be close to the site and have secure parking in addition.’

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Truss made ‘turnips in truck’ Brexit remark about Ireland, former diplomat says

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UK foreign secretary Liz Truss told a US audience three years ago that the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Ireland would only “affect a few farmers with turnips in the back of their trucks,” a former UK diplomat said.

Alexandra Hall Hall, a former Brexit counsellor at the UK embassy in the US, disclosed on Twitter on Tuesday night that Ms Truss made the remarks to a US audience three years ago.

The former career diplomat revealed in an article she wrote in a US academic journal last year that a UK government minister made the remarks but she did not identify the minister at the time.

Last night Ms Hall Hall retweeted a tweet by Ms Truss in which the foreign secretary said the UK government’s “first priority is to uphold the Belfast Agreement” – the 1998 deal that underpins the Northern Ireland peace process. Ms Truss shared a link to her House of Commons speech in which she set out plans to introduce legislation to override the Northern Ireland Brexit deal.

Retweeting the message, Ms Hall Hall said: “So pleased to see Liz Truss become a genuine expert on Irish matters. She was, after all, the minister who told a US audience three years ago that Brexit would not have any serious impact in Ireland . . . it would merely ‘affect a few farmers with turnips in the back of their trucks.’”

‘Under strain’

Ms Truss told the UK parliament that the protocol had put the Belfast Agreement “under strain” because of opposition by Unionist parties, citing this as a reason to plan to introduce new legislation in the coming weeks to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland Brexit deal.

Ms Hall Hall wrote in the Texas National Security Review journal last year that during her time as a diplomat in Washington, DC that Boris Johnson’s government damagingly played down the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland’s peace process in statements intended for US audiences.

She resigned from her job in late 2019 because she said she was unwilling to “peddle half-truths on behalf of a government I do not trust,” she said in her resignation letter.

In her article last autumn, she described the “turnip” remarks – without naming Ms Truss at the time – as a “low point” of her time in Washington when the UK minister “openly and offensively” in front of a US audience dismissed the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Irish businesses.

Ms Truss, then the UK secretary of state for international trade, was visiting Washington at the time to meet the then US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, both members of US president Donald Trump’s administration, and other politicians.

In the academic article, she said he had become “increasingly dismayed by the way in which our political leaders have tried to deliver Brexit, with reluctance to address honestly, even with our own citizens, the challenges and trade-offs which Brexit involves.”

She took issue in the article – entitled: “Should I stay or should I go? The dilemma of a conflicted civil service – with the UK government’s “use of misleading or disingenuous arguments about the implications of the various options” with Brexit.

Ms Hall joined the UK foreign office in 1986 and served in various roles around the world, including in Bangkok, New Delhi and Bogota before serving as British ambassador in Georgia.

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