The government will bring forward emergency legislation to protect private renters from eviction, Boris Johnson has said.

Tenants were “worried sick” they might not be able to pay rents if they fell ill, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said at Prime Minister’s Questions.

As Wales and Scotland said they would close schools by Friday Mr Johnson said a decision on England was imminent.

It came after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced £350bn of help for companies.

On Tuesday, the chancellor promised mortgage “holidays”, £330bn in loans and £20bn in other aid.

The government had been urged to do more for families, workers and tenants affected by coronavirus.

Mr Corbyn urged the PM to protect private renters in “the interests of public health”, adding Britain’s 20m private renters were “worried sick” about missing payments if they became ill, lost pay or had to self-isolate.

Mr Johnson said it will bring forward legislation to protect private renters from eviction, but will also avoid “pass[ing] on the problem” by “taking steps to protect other actors in the economy”.

Housing associations will not evict tenants who are affected by the virus and fall behind on rent payments, Kate Henderson, of the National Housing Federation, which represents housing associations in England, has confirmed.



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