Agenda item

End of the Ban on Evictions

To receive a presentation in relation to the impact the end of the ban on evictions has had on homelessness and the plans in place to deal with this going forward.


The sub-committee received a presentation given by the Housing Services Manager and Housing Options Manager on the Lifting of the Eviction Ban in North Tyneside.


The sub-committee were informed that the Coronavirus Act 2020 had provided protection to social and private tenants by delaying when landlords could eviction tenants.


Provisions in the Act increased the required notice period length landlords could provide to tenants when seeking possession and that between 29 August 2020 and 31 May 2021, with the exception of the most serious cases, landlords needed to give their tenants 6 months’ notice before starting possession proceedings.


Legislation was in place up to the end of 31 May to ensure bailiffs did not serve eviction notices or carry out evictions until after the 1 June 2021.


North Tyneside had policies that supported its residents through the: 


The North Tyneside Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2021 includes three priorities that work to prevent homelessness:


       Implementation and delivery of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

       Meeting local housing need

       Supporting households to secure and sustain a home


The North Tyneside Letting Policy 2019 also aims to help people access secure, suitable, and affordable social sector homes within North Tyneside.


The sub-committee was informed that through 2020/21 vulnerable tenants were supported and assisted them to apply for:


       Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) assisting 483 households at a total value of £344,721.32

       141 households were supported through the hardship fund (£100k)

       No court enforcement action was taken during 2020 – 2021 for rent arrears or applications made to court.

       No evictions on the grounds of ASB


There were a number of challenges for supporting tenants in 2021/22, due to the £170k reduction of the Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP), the £100k Hardship fund no longer being available, the ending of the Government Furlough Scheme and the end of the uplift payments for Universal Credit uplift in September 2021.


To alleviate some of the impact to the loss in DHP funding the Authority had placed £30k from the Homeless Prevention fund.


It was emphasised that the authority would continue with its approach of tenancy sustainment by working with our tenants and our supporting internal and external partners, to understand reasons for arrears, with eviction process as the last option.


There was expected impact to private sector residents and the Housing team had developed a plan to support those most at risk of eviction and the sub-committee heard that in 2020/21 the Authority’s Homeless Team received 74 presentations due to Section 21 Notices being served by private landlords and due to the eviction ban there were no Section 21 presentations in 2020-2021.


It also heard that since the 31st May when the government lifted the eviction ban, there had been 20 cases presented with Section 21 Notices served due to rent arrears.


The Housing Options team had developed a plan to support those most at risk of eviction:


       Use of the Private Landlord Officer to work with landlords to identify tenants at immediate risk

       Working closer with Registered Providers’ s to identify tenants at immediate risk.

       Publicising service on social media and website to promote early contact from tenants who may need support from evictions.

       Modelling on DHP demand and prioritise use of funding to those at risk of evictions.

       Modelling the impact on each service by using possession data, unemployment/UC to forecast what the demand might be

       Developing a toolkit of support


A member requested how many evictions had been undertaken for the year prior to the Coronavirus Act 2020 ban on evictions. In response the Housing Services Manager stated the information would be provided.


A member asked if there was data in relation to the hidden homeless and who rely on friend and family for accommodation and for the information to be circulated to the Sub-committee.  In response the Housing Options Manager informed the sub-committee of the Everyone in Initiative to ensure everyone  was provided accommodation during the Coid-19 pandemic and stated she would provide the necessary information.


Agreed that the presentation on the End of the Ban on Evictions be noted.