Private tenant evictions will resume next month, a Tory minister has confirmed.
Housing minister Lord Greenhalgh said ending the ban on evictions was was an “important step towards ending lockdown.”
It comes amid warnings homelessness could treble this year unless the government acts.
And there are calls for the government to reverse the “heartless” decision.
Landlords were banned from evicting tenants during the coronavirus crisis – and still aren’t allowed to start the process until August 23.
But in response to a parliamentary question, Housing minister Lord Greenhalgh said this would soon come to an end.
He said: “From 24 August 2020, the courts will begin to process possession cases again.
“This is an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.
“Work is underway with the judiciary, legal representatives and the advice sector on arrangements, including new rules, to ensure that judges have all the information necessary to make just decisions and that the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”
Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran commented: “The idea that the government want to re-start evictions in the midst of a pandemic is unthinkable.
“This threatens a wave of homelessness in towns up and down the country, which added to that the threat of local lockdowns could create a toxic cocktail for the disease to thrive.”
Generation Rent this week warned homelessness could treble this year unless the government acts to help private renters.
According to the group, rates of rent arrears have risen from 4% before the pandemic to 13%, which could make 45,000 households homeless.
Ms Moran said: “The government need to urgently rethink this heartless decision.
“If ministers are serious about the levelling up agenda, they need to act now to ensure vulnerable households across the country are protected.
“More support is urgently needed to help those struggling to pay their rent and prevent a rise in evictions.”