A ban on bailiff evictions has been extended until the end of March to protect renters during the current lockdown restrictions.
The Government said only the most serious cases were exempt from the move such as illegal occupation and those with rent arrears of six months or more.
Housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, said: ‘We have taken unprecedented action to support renters during the pandemic including introducing a six-month notice period and financial support to help those struggling to pay their rent.
’By extending the ban on the enforcement of evictions by bailiffs, in all but the most serious cases, we are ensuring renters remain protected during this difficult time.’
Homelessness charity Shelter welcomed the move but warned almost 445,000 private renting adults in England have fallen behind on their rent or been served with some kind of eviction notice in the last month.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: 'This short extension to the bailiff ban may keep people safe for now, but it’s not an answer to the evictions crisis. Renters are still are being served with eviction notices every day, and our helpline is flooded with calls from those desperately worried about paying their rent.
'Before the ban is lifted, the government must give renters a real way out of debt. That means a lifeline of emergency grants to help pay off ‘Covid-arrears’ so people can avoid the terrifying risk of eviction altogether.'