Wales: Housing Minister Julie James has announced that landlords will have to give six months’ notice of eviction to tenants up until September 30, up from the three months introduced in March’s Coronavirus Act. James said the measures will mean “fewer people will face eviction into homelessness at a time when local authorities are less able to respond to these situations”.
Scotland: A six-month notice period was introduced at the start of the coronavirus lockdown and was in place until September – but Shelter Scotland warned of the consequences of not extending protections. “A tidal wave of evictions” was on the cards without them, according to director Alison Watson, following a 40 per cent increase in applications for crisis grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund. Now First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that the eviction ban will be extended until March 2021.
Germany: Alongside its eviction ban, Germany moved quickly to allow rent payments to be deferred or spread out over two years. And they are coming from a place where rents are controlled. Germany has prohibited the eviction of tenants or termination of their rent contracts to anyone who, between April 1 and September 30 of this year, cannot pay their rent due to the crisis. This can be extended for another six months until March 31 next year.
Spain:In April, authorities brought in a set of measures to help out renters: an eviction ban to be upheld for up to six months after the threat of Covid-19 has passed, and the automatic renewal of leases due to expire during the pandemic. It stopped landlords from hiking up the rent for six months, too. Interest-free loans were introduced for vulnerable tenants to keep up with housing costs, to be paid back over a six-year period, though those in poverty are more likely to be grappling with debt already. And in Barcelona, where renters pay the most per square metre in the country, mayor Ada Colau told landlords of nearly 200 empty flats to rent out vacant homes within 30 days – or risk them being repossessed for half their market value and converted to affordable housing.
Canada: In Ontario, the eviction ban has already been lifted. Despite pressure from tenants’ groups – at the time of writing they’re still campaigning for authorities to extend the moratorium on evictions – the Landlord and Tenant Board is now making its way through a backlog of eviction applications for people who didn’t pay their rent. Homeowners submitted 6,000 during lockdown alone, meaning thousands are newly at risk.
USA: The life-saving eviction moratorium has ended across much of the USA, too. Around 23 million people are now at risk of homelessness, with roughly 30 states having lifted eviction bans since May. Up to 26.5 per cent of adults across the US said they couldn’t pay their rent last month or didn’t know if they would be able to in the future, and in places like Milwaukee the number of evictions filed in June soared by 21 per cent following the end of the ban.