A senior Wealden councillor has urged people to come to the Council for help if they face the threat of eviction.
Speaking at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting yesterday (Monday 5th July), the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Benefits Ray Cade called on local residents facing eviction to contact the housing team for support as soon as possible.
Cllr Cade’s comments came in light of a discussion around the lifting of the national eviction ban on 1st June, which had been put in place to protect tenants during lockdown.
Cllr Cade said:
In my view, I think we will have an increase in applications from people who are subject to either Section 21 or Section 8 evictions in the private rented sector.
I think it is difficult to say, but we hope people will come to us first when they get the notice and we do advertise that quite widely, so that we can try and prevent them being evicted in the first place.
We have been very successful over the years in preventing homelessness, so we are hoping that the message is out there to come to us if people are going to be evicted or feel that they are threatened to become homeless.
From 1st June, the notice period a landlord must give a tenant to leave a property has dropped from six months to four months, and the ban has been lifted on evictions enforced by bailiffs.
To use the section 8 process, a landlord must have a legal reason to evict their tenant. Rent arrears is the most common reason for a section 8 notice but there are other reasons, such as antisocial behaviour. Your landlord must prove the grounds for possession in court.
A Section 21 is the notice which a landlord must give to their tenant to begin the process to take possession of a property let on an assured shorthold tenancy without providing a reason for wishing to take possession.
According to the report, Wealden District Council has seen an increase in private rented sector tenants seeking advice since the ban was lifted and is monitoring the situation in case there is a surge in demand.
However, the Council also says it is not currently seeing an increase in possession orders being granted by the courts as yet, although this has been attributed to a backlog caused by the pandemic.
Families experiencing housing issues might also was to phone Wealden Citizens Advice.