According to the legislation eviction orders will not be granted unless the tenant is in “substantial arrears” which were accrued before 23 March.
Substantial arrears are classed as the equivalent of nine months’ missed payments or more. Any payments that have been not been made from 23 March onwards must be disregarded.
This means a tenant who is supposed to pay their rent on the first day of the month, for example, who has missed eight months’ rent before the March cut off and does not make any payments for the ten months from April to January cannot be evicted until the legislation expires on 11 January.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “In trying to arrive at a compromise the government has failed to help those in genuine need while rewarding those whose arrears have nothing to do with the pandemic, and in some cases are wilfully not paying their rent.
“This is doing nothing to help those tenants who are trying to do the right thing and seeking to pay off their debts.
“Instead of prolonging the problem with short-term fixes, the government needs to urgently bring in a financial package to enable tenants to pay off rent arrears.”