Emergency legislation and the six-month suspension of evictions and court proceedings has helped guard against the effects of coronavirus for renters and landlords during the worst of the crisis. The notice period for evictions has also been extended to six months to provide further certainty for renters over the winter, except in serious cases such as anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse. The moratorium on commercial forfeitures for non-payment has been extended to the end of 2020, helping provide certainty for businesses and employees and protect jobs in our communities.
Immediate support through the £500 million Hardship Fund has been provided to economically vulnerable people struggling to pay council tax. Statutory Sick Pay is also being paid from day one of being sick, rather than day four. An additional £9.3 billion has also been put into the welfare system this year, further protecting those that are struggling. I am glad that efforts across the country have helped save lives and livelihoods, keep businesses running and assist those who are struggling the most. There is also £180 million in funding available this year through Discretionary Housing Payments for councils to support renters with housing costs.
Offering support to landlords during this time is also crucial. Landlords will rightly be concerned about meeting mortgage payments, which could put pressure on their tenants. A three-month mortgage payment holiday extension was provided for buy-to-let landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties.
It is very important that landlords and tenants continue to work together to agree on affordable repayment plans, established with an understanding of the renter's circumstance and financial ability, and raise issues at the earliest opportunity to address any concerns.
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