It wasn’t long ago when Brits started worrying about homelessness.
If you are a private tenant, there is a chance of you becoming homeless with the lift of the eviction ban which took place from 31 May.
Unfortunately, we have now surpassed the deadline and from 1 June onwards landlords are now allowed to force evictions.
The way Coronavirus has impacted our lives is an undeniable certitude.
People have been in a constant thought rally about whether they will catch the virus and the long term impacts it may have on their health.
Additionally, concerns have risen about financial stability and job security too. But there is one topic which could wreck the world of millions, that doesn’t get the attention it deserves – Homelessness.
The housing support measures introduced by the government which has been in effect since March 2020 (with extensions and amendments) has covered for the misfortunate renters. Regulations laid to the Coronavirus Act 2020 have offered tenants greater protection from eviction by bailiffs.
So what will change?
From 1 June onwards, bailiffs will be allowed to enforce evictions.
Secondly, landlords will only need to give a four month notice instead of the previous six-month period.
Not to forget that when there are rent arrears of at least four months, these exceptions are lowered to four weeks.
It’s a two-sided roller coaster
Now that the government directly pays the tenant and not the landlord, many people have taken advantage of the system.
Tenants aren’t expected to prove to their landlords whether they’re receiving the benefits to cover their rents. This has resulted in some to live rent-free until the volcano erupts.
I recently spoke to a landlord, who admitted that the Coronavirus has cost him over £100k worth of rental income. The landlord claims he did not receive any of the specified amount from his tenants.
He stressed on the fact that a tenant of his who was supposed to leave his property couple weeks before the spread of the Coronavirus, has now stayed almost 18 months rent-free in his property.
He further commented, “What hurts the most is they laugh at your face and you can’t do anything about it.”
From the Tenant’s point of view
It would only be fair to admit that the renters have been hit the hardest.
The eviction ban introduced last year, has helped millions to secure their homes in the dragged-out winter lockdown which we survived.
Now that the fairy tale has come to an end, the fear and stress of being notified to leave your place if you still haven’t managed to find a reliable source of income, will hit millions.
Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs and faced brims of applying to Universal Credit.
Demand for UC has doubled to six million since the beginning of the pandemic.
In times of difficulty the least the government could do is protect its people during the unprecedented times we are in.
It’s been extremely difficult for the working class who lost their jobs when trying to make ends meet and an exasperating journey for those who have been working high-profession jobs who had to sit at home and make no use of their skills.
A friend of mine had to return to Turkey because he no longer could survive in the UK. His expenses outweighed his income. He lost his job mid-summer and was unable to find something amid the flaring cases last September.
Nobody should feel like they should be forced to work in a certain way that undermines their core norms and values.
Considering that large numbers of people could face homelessness, this may result in people finding themselves in exploitative situations. Situations where they could end up entering dangerous job deals just to avoid life on the streets.
People can find themselves in labour exploitation where they are forced to work for low wages and pay is kept by their owner. This results in workers to abide to their bosses’ unethical demands.
Some could find themselves in situations where they provide domestic servitude. For example, cooking and cleaning where they receive low pay. Or being a victim of criminal exploitation such as shoplifting and drug dealing. And even worse, organ harvesting.
Know your rights
- Can contact your local council if you are at the risk of becoming homeless.
- Have a right to be rehoused by Housing executive housingadviceni.org
- Can contact Crisis.org.uk which is a charity organisation working to end homelessness.
- Could also get help from centrepoint.org.uk which aims to give homeless young people a future.