Leeds City Council has confirmed it will NOT evict any of its tenants for the duration of the coronavirus lockdown, writes Richard Beecham.
It follows a statement from the authority last month, which claimed no court or eviction action would be taken against tenants facing arrears until the end of March.
However, the council has now confirmed action against tenants in arrears will be suspended for the entirety of the coronavirus lockdown – even for those whose arrears are unrelated to the pandemic.
A Leeds City Council spokesperson said:
“Due to the unprecedented circumstances, the council is not pursuing any tenant for arrears during the coronavirus outbreak.
“All possession action has been temporarily suspended and evictions due to long standing rent arrears, which were not related in any way to the outbreak, will not go ahead.
“These suspensions will remain in place in line with Government guidance and we will continually monitor the situation.”
The government announced the lockdown late last month, and that the conditions would be reviewed again on April 13. However, it is widely expected the lockdown will be extended due to the severity of the pandemic.
The council’s latest statement follows an announcement on March 20, which read:
“All possession action has been temporarily suspended. Evictions due to long standing rent arrears, which were not related in any way to the outbreak, will not go ahead next week.
“We always strive to work with our customers in a sympathetic way, and we are putting a particular focus on this during the current circumstances.”
The March statement also claimed staff conducting emergency repairs on self-isolating households would be asked to wear ‘protective equipment’ to prevent the spread of coronavirus.