Greater Manchester leaders are calling for the ban on evictions to be extended again as tenants stills struggle with the coronavirus.

Rules introduced by the government due to the coronavirus meant that tenants could only be evicted by court bailiffs in very limited circumstances to support people struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.

However, these rules are due to comet to an end on February 22 meaning bailiffs will be able to enforce evictions again.

No evictions are expected to take place until March 8 and tenants must still be given six months notice to vacate their rented property but eviction processes are again starting to moving through the courts.

There are an estimated 16,800 households in Greater Manchester estimated to be in arrears due to the pandemic.

The first eviction ban, introduced at the start of lockdown, was in place for six months and housing experts have said another longer ban would help to reduce difficulties for renters.

Leaders are also asking Government to provide direct financial support to protect tenants and landlords to prevent the build-up of rent arrears due to Covid-19 impacts, as proposed by Shelter, the NRLA, Crisis and others.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “The Covid-19 outbreak has proved extremely difficult for many in our city-region and we understand people may be in a worrying financial situation which they may never have experienced before. In Greater Manchester we do not just ignore people when they fall on tough times; we pull together and offer support to those who need it.

“We already have more than 4,000 households in temporary accommodation and are also supporting 1,000 people through our A Bed Every Night scheme. The homelessness system in our city-region cannot take much more, a sudden surge in evictions will create a huge amount of pressure and I urge Government to reimpose the eviction ban to protect people who are in these circumstances through no fault of their own.”

Greater Manchester Combined Authority's lead on Housing and Homelessness, Paul Dennett, said: “It is crucial Government steps up to provide direct financial support to protect tenants and offer assistance to help those in rent arrears. I also call on landlords to be compassionate during these unprecedented times and to consider the difficult circumstances tenants may find themselves in.

“During this unsettled period, the most important thing is for tenants and landlords to communicate with each other openly, honestly and constructively to avoid any preventable evictions. In some circumstances, landlords could consider reducing rent permanently, if a tenant’s income is reduced long term. And by offering a rent reduction that is less than the cost of re-letting, property owners can save money and sustain a tenancy - an often preferable outcome for all concerned.

“We are urging all parties to explore all routes and to be aware of the help out there, before anybody is unnecessarily put at risk of losing their tenancy. We will also continue to press Government to provide additional support to help tenants and landlords through this unprecedented emergency.”