COUNTY residents who fear eviction once the government’s ban comes to an end should seek help from their local authority.

The ban, which was brought in as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, saw a temporary halt to evictions across the country to help workers who had been furloughed or who had lost their jobs due to the crisis.

As of June 1 however, the ban has now been lifted.

Worcester City Council communities committee chairman Cllr James Stanley urged any residents who are worried about eviction to contact the council.

He said: “We help hundreds of households who are facing homelessness every year and we would encourage anyone who is at risk of becoming homeless to contact us as soon as possible.

"The longer we have to help you, the more chance we have of being successful.”

Anyone looking for help can contact the City Council’s housing team on 01905 722233 or at the Trinity Street Housing Advice Centre, open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

Residents in Malvern and Wychavon will have to contact the housing teams from their respective district councils.

With the ban now lifted, bailiffs can evict tenants again.

You will get two weeks’ notice of an eviction date but they will not evict you if you or anyone you live with has coronavirus symptoms, has tested positive for coronavirus or you or another person have been told to self isolate by the NHS.

Jonathan Sutton, chief executive of St Paul’s Hostel, also urged residents worried about eviction to get in touch with their local authority for support.

He said: “The lifting of the eviction ban will be especially worrying time for many adults who rent privately because they face the highest risk of eviction.

“Readers can see this in Worcester, every night, at the Street Kitchens.

"Most people who use these are not rough sleeping but are housed, often in private rented accommodation and many cut back on nearly everything, including food to pay their rent.

“The government will point out their £350 billion support package has helped many people while opponents argue the lifting of the ban will lead to more homelessness and more cost to the state.

“Despite the support it is foreseeable some households will be facing the prospect of becoming homeless therefore it is essential they do not dilly-dally and make contact with the City housing staff to allow them a fighting chance of preventing their homelessness.”

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said 45% of private landlords own just one property and are highly vulnerable to rent arrears.

It said there was financial support to help people pay their living expenses, including the furlough scheme and the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift, which have both been extended until the end of September.