Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, has done the right thing, without much conviction. At the last moment yesterday he announced a further extension of the ban on evicting tenants until 20 September.
The government was right to ban evictions temporarily at the start of the coronavirus crisis, but never devised a plan for a return to normality. The ban has to be lifted, and soon, because otherwise the private rented market will seize up. The country needs responsible landlords, and they in turn need to be able to start, end and change tenancies.
But equally, as the opposition and housing charities have been pointing out with increasing urgency, there is a pent-up problem of some tenants in desperate straits, struggling with arrears, who cannot simply be cut adrift.
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