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Disappointment as eviction ban extended

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Landlords could be left for five months without rent and anti-social tenants allowed terrorise neighbours after the government announced an extension to its eviction ban.

The ban, introduced by the government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic has now been extended by two months following an announcement late this afternoon.

Housing minister Robert Jenrick said the suspension of evictions from both private rented accommodation and the social sector will be extended by two months until August 23.

He also announced new court rules, which he said ‘will ensure vulnerable renters are protected when the suspension of evictions ends’

The NRLA says the decision could force some landlords out of the sector.

Misery

Ben Beadle, NRLA Chief Executive said: “This decision means that some landlords will now be facing five months without receiving any rent as they can take no action against tenants who were not paying before the lockdown started.

“It also means more misery for tenants and neighbours suffering at the hands of anti-social tenants and will also cause exceptional hardship for a number of landlords, including many who depend on their rental income to live, for which there is no assistance.

“We have every sympathy with tenants who face genuine difficulties because of a loss of income due to the coronavirus crisis and as our survey out tomorrow shows, nearly all landlords are working with tenants who are struggling to keep them in their home. 

“It is important the Government sets out its plans for the market at the end of this one-time extension.

Serious damage

“A failure to do so will cause serious damage to the private rented sector as a whole.  It will ultimately be tenants who suffer as they will find it increasingly difficult to find affordable housing if landlords do not have the confidence that they will get their properties back swiftly in legitimate circumstances.” 

The government has reiterated that where tenants do experience financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic landlords and tenants should work together and exhaust all possible options – such as flexible payment plans which take into account a tenant’s individual circumstances – to ensure cases only end up in court as an ‘absolute last resort’.

Support

Research from the NRLA shows that landlords are already supporting tenants where they can, with 90% of landlord approached for help by their tenants able to provide it.

Announcing the extension Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “We have provided an unprecedented package of support for renters during this pandemic. 

“Today, I am announcing that the government’s ban on evictions will be extended for another two months. That takes the moratorium on evictions to a total of five months.

“Eviction hearings will not be heard in courts until the end of August and no-one will be evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.

“We are also working with the judiciary on proposals to ensure that when evictions proceedings do recommence, arrangements, including rules, are in place to assist the court in giving appropriate protections for those who have been particularly affected by coronavirus – including those tenants who have been shielding.

Guidance

The two-month extension will come into force on 25 June, ensuring there’s no gap between the existing ban and the extension, and also applies to home-owners, commercial and leasehold and apply to England and Wales.

The government said guidance for landlords and renters is in the process of being updated to reflect the changes

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

1 Comment

  • I understand that in these times there’s always going to be difficulty in solutions that fit all circumstances, but here is my specific case to highlight in your representations to Government.
    I have owned and operated commercial and residential property for over 20 years, experienced all types of tenant , tenancy and situations.
    At my 7 bedroom , registered HMO we have a long standing tenant who has been identified as vulnerable, at risk and told to self shield and isolate inside the house.
    All tenants have been given the guidelines that you have recommended and acted superbly, with one exception. This tenant had eviction proceedings commenced in January for non payment of rent. This has obviously been stayed twice until at least September. He has continually been anti social, paid little rent, although the application for direct payment was quick , easy and successful. Arrears still exist, as does the antisocial behaviour. He also admits people into the house, parties and socialising daily. I have logged 10 reports of breaking Covid Lockdown rules ringing Police on 101 and online logs, which I have reported to the Court. Police have attended, usually missing the party and no actions have been taken. This tenant is aware that eviction is not possible until an order is made and bailiffs attend. He is hiding and protected behind all Covid laws…it’s been negative, disruptive, anti social and potentially dangerous to tenants in my case. Ministers should allow evictions for specific cases…please don’t use my name, but happy to be quoted.

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