Since the beginning of the pandemic, Most countries have approved measures to prevent the drop in income linked to the impact of the coronavirus from preventing many of their citizens from paying their rent, their mortgage or basic services. Thus, in most countries, rent evictions have been at least partially prohibited, while a smaller group has offered mortgage moratoriums.
In the case of Spain, the start of the state of alarm was accompanied by a package of economic initiatives aimed at alleviating the consequences of the pandemic, the so-called social shield against the coronavirus, which included social measures such as the suspension of mortgage payments and rents. wave prohibition of cutting off basic supplies and evictions, aimed at protecting the most vulnerable groups.
Over the months, several of these initiatives have been extended until September, in which the moratoriums on mortgage payments and the ban on cutting off electricity, gas or water service to vulnerable households expired, while what the prohibition of evictions and abusive increases in the rental price have been extended until next January 31.
The ban on evictions seeks to avoid exacerbating housing inequalities in a country where social housing has been reduced to 2% of the total, where rent is more affordable than buying a home in 15 of the 17 autonomous communities and in which there are between 30,000 and 40,000 homeless people, according Inside Housing.
All aid for rent due to the coronavirus: subsidies, microcredits without interest or commissions, extension of contracts and suspension of evictions
These measures have not meant the total stoppage of evictions during the pandemic, as reveals the Report on the effects of the crisis on judicial bodies of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), which shows that during the second quarter, in full state of alarm, launches fell by 90%, but even so there were 1,383, of which the majority were on homes for rent.
In other countries, many governments have applied measures similar to those of Spain to prevent part of their population from being seen on the street due to the economic impact of the coronavirus. Thus, like Spain, the governments of France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom or the United States have applied measures to avoid evictions during the pandemic.
However, there are differences with respect to the Spanish model, since most initiatives outside of Spain focus on protecting those who rent, a much more majority housing regime abroad, except in Italy. However, as in Spain, government moratoriums have not prevented thousands of people from being evicted in several countries.
France: extending the winter truce on evictions
In the Gallic country, the previous government chaired by François Hollande approved in 2014 the so-called winter break (winter truce, in Spanish), which prohibits eviction in rent between November 1 and March 31 to prevent those who cannot afford it from ending up living on the streets in the harshest months of the year.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the French Executive decided to extend that truce until July, although it has subsequently returned to extend it until March 31, 2021 to avoid a wave of evictions throughout the summer, while the French economy was still beginning to reactivate after the first wave of the coronavirus.
However, non-payment of rents has increased in France by almost 140% between June and October, although in most cases these arrears in the lease have occurred around its capital, according The Parisian, which highlights that defaults have gone from affecting 7 out of every 1,000 flats in June to 16 out of every 1,000 in October.
However, the French moratorium on evictions is subject to exceptions, so that those who have received an emergency order, those who enjoy family rehousing or the illegal occupants of a house cannot be accepted. Besides, the legislation gala stipulates that, as of March 31, if the defaults have not been paid, the eviction may be resumed.
United Kingdom: different measures in each nation
British legislation to prevent evictions from rental housing during the pandemic is applied independently in Scotland and Northern Ireland with respect to England, which does fall under the authority of the Government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, while mortgage deferrals are the responsibility of the British Treasury and are applied in a unitary way throughout the United Kingdom.
Regarding rent, the first measures to avoid evictions were extended in the 4 nations at the end of the summer, although with very different deadlines. Scotland went ahead by extending the moratorium until March 2021, Northern Ireland followed suit shortly after, and the British Government limited its extension until January, according The Law Society Gazette.
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In any case, the ban on evictions in England is not complete and landlords can evict their tenants if they have been notified 6 months in advance, if the tenants show antisocial behavior, incur in domestic abuse or fraud or if they accumulate more than 6 months of defaults, according to establishes the regulations of the British Ministry of Housing.
Despite the fact that the moratorium has been extended throughout the country, at least 90,063 Britons have received an eviction notice from their home since April and more than half of them have already been evicted, according The Guardian. Regarding mortgage payments, 2.6 million deferrals were approved during the pandemic, of which 140,000 were still in effect at the end of October, according Mortgage Introducer.
Germany: landlord can go to court
The German government was one of the first in Europe to apply measures to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus on housing, although opting for an intermediate solution, given that has prohibited evictions in the event of non-payment of rent, although the owner is offered the possibility of resorting to the courts to demand payment of their debts from their tenants, according Euronews Weekly.
Specifically, the measures applied by the Government of Angela Merkel prohibit terminating the contract, the first step to request the eviction of the tenant. This partial moratorium was approved in principle until September 30, but the second wave of the coronavirus has led Berlin to extend its validity until March 31, 2021.
Italy: eviction protection expires in January
In the transalpine country, the first in Europe to be affected by the pandemic, the first measures focused on the temporary suspension of mortgage payments, given that only 27% of households live in rental, in addition to various measures to protect the income of rental homeowners, based on Inside Housing.
Regarding rent, the Government approved in March the prohibition of evictions at the state level within the decree Care Italy, initially until July and later until September, while now the protection against evictions is scheduled to be repealed on December 31, according The Republic.
USA: 5 states have anticipated the end of the moratorium on evictions
The stoppage of evictions in the US during the pandemic, like almost everything to do with the presidency of this country in recent months, has been subject to a huge dose of uncertainty. The outgoing president, Donald Trump approved the moratorium at the beginning of the pandemic until July, but in September he was forced to extend it, albeit with conditions, until December 31.
The new moratorium was approved a month after the emergency unemployment benefits that the government put into operation were exhausted due to the increase in unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the risk that 40 million Americans would find themselves in the Street, according CNN, which ensures that almost 10 million households accumulate arrears in their rent or their mortgage payments.
However, the September extension only applies to tenants who earn less than $ 100,000 (about 82,400 euros) a year and who demonstrate that they cannot pay the rent, which has led several states, such as Illinois or New York, to have since then applied its own mortgage moratoriums, according The Guardian.
Similarly, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, Texas and Tennessee have begun to process eviction petitions from companies dedicated to rental housing, which has led to the eviction of some 10,000 homes between September and mid-October, which has forced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is responsible for these measures, to announce new legislation at the national level, according NBC.