Council urges Bedford residents not to ignore rent arrears after legislation to protect tenants during pandemic was withdrawn

Landlords can now evict tenants again

By Clare Turner
Friday, 25th June 2021, 12:23 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 12:24 pm

Bedford Borough Council is urging residents not to ignore notices from their landlords or the court about rent arrears.

Last year, during the pandemic the Government introduced legislation that meant landlords could not evict tenants from their homes due to rent arrears and would instead have to work with them to put in place a flexible payment plan based on their individual circumstances.

However, on June 1, the legislation was withdrawn, meaning that landlords can once again evict tenants who have fallen into rent arrears or breached their tenancy agreement.

Legislation to protect tenants during the pandemic has now been withdrawn

Councillor Colleen Atkins, portfolio holder for regulatory services and housing, said: “During the pandemic the Government has quite rightly protected people from being evicted and made homeless.

"For many people the pandemic has changed their financial circumstances so that they have been unable to keep up with rent payments. Often, tenants just need patience from landlords so that they can get back on track with their payments.

“It is vital that anyone who receives a notice about rent arrears or eviction from their landlord or the court doesn’t just ignore it, because the situation will worsen and you could end up homeless. If you’ve received a notice, please contact the council or Citizens Advice Bedford straight away for free help and advice.”

You can contact Bedford Borough Council’s housing team on 01234 718058, between 8.45am and 5.15pm from Monday to Thursday, or 8.45am to 5pm on Friday. In an emergency, you can also contact 01234 267422 outside of these hours.

To speak with an advisor at Citizens Advice Bedford online or call 01234 867944 between 9.45am an 1pm from Monday to Thursday, or 9.30am to 1pm on Friday.