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Greater Manchester Tenants Union warns of 'spike' in evictions to come in spring

  • GMTU warns of big increase in evictions in March and April
  • Eviction ban imposed during lockdown lifted last month
  • Shelter say 12,000 renters in Manchester are at risk of eviction

The Greater Manchester Tenants Union  has warned that a “spike” in evictions is set to take place in spring next year.

Following new government policy, the eviction ban put in place in April was lifted on 21 September and possession hearings have resumed in court.   

Those served with an eviction notice on or after 29 August 2020 now have six months – up from three – before they are forced to leave their homes. In some cases the notice period may be shorter.

Tenants Union campaigners fear a big surge in people being evicted from their homes

Speaking at a protest against Tier 3 restrictions in Manchester at the weekend, Ben Clay, a GMTU organiser and Manchester councillor, warned of a “spike” in evictions.

He said: “Now that the eviction ban has been lifted and the courts are processing possession hearings again, there will be a real spike in evictions in six months’ time.”

The GMTU, an offshoot of the Tenants Union UK, say they have not had any communication from the council about helping combat this rise in homelessness.

Isaac Rose, also from the GMTU, say they have begun to take steps to prepare for the upcoming crisis.

He said: “We’re starting to target key neighbourhoods where we think there’ll be high risk.

“In Bolton we have also teamed up with trade unions to form a coalition to raise awareness among their members and also to pressure social housing providers not to evict.”

Anyone with rent arrears of eight weeks or more satisfies the grounds for a potential eviction under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988.

According to Shelter, of the 270,000 renters that fall into this category nationwide, 12,000 live in Manchester. This means that Mancunians are 10 times more at risk of becoming homeless than the average renter.

The number of homeless in Manchester currently stands at 5,564 and activists say this number is set to rise in the coming months.

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