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Landlords refute Shelter evictions claims

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Landlords have responded to new research by Shelter on rent arrears due to Covid-19, saying that they will do all they can to sustain tenancies.

The charity is warning of a homelessness crisis once the five-month ban on evictions comes to an end next month.

However the NRLA said evidence suggests landlords are already working hard to support tenants and that nine in 10 have been paying their rent as usual during the pandemic. 

Chris Norris, Policy Director for the NRLA said: “Throughout the lockdown, our surveys show that the vast majority of landlords have been doing all they can to keep people in their homes. 

“Although no landlord can afford to absorb long-term losses of income, eviction is not, and should not be seen as the inevitable outcome of getting behind with rent payments.

“Our recently published guidance supports tenants and landlords to hold discussions about how to address rent arrears and sustain tenancies.

“It is important though to distinguish between tenants affected by COVID-19 and those who were building rent arrears before lockdown, sometimes for several months and sometimes wilfully.

“When the courts re-start rehearing possession cases on 24th August the latter should be the priority along with instances where tenants are committing anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse.”

Survey

A recent survey of over 2,000 tenants across England and Wales, commissioned by the NRLA found 90 per cent had paid their rent as usual since the coronavirus crisis began. 

It found 82 per cent, had not needed to ask their landlord for any support – and of those that did ask, three quarters received a positive response. 

To read our latest Covid-19 guidance click here.

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.

2 Comments

  • It’s not just about rent arrears building up before the pandemic. It’s also about some tenants using the situation because they were told 1) it’s a rent holiday, 2) the notice extended to three and then five months and 3) courts are closed and there will be a backlog afterwards. And on Shelter’s website the advice is ‘you don’t have to leave your home once the notice expires’. Golden opportunity to live rent free for those wanting to abuse the situation to their advantage.

  • Technically, BOTH sides are right! But how can this be?
    At the end of the ban/moratorium lasting 5 months (or more, if things get revised before 24 August), a backlog is BOUND to develop, e.g. for cases other than tenant impoverishment from the effects of the current situation.
    e.g. Antisocial behaviour, damage or lack of care to the premises and inventory, use for illegal purposes, …
    Also, if a tenant on benefits has a motive for moving, the L.A. INSISTS on an eviction, otherwise it would regard tenant as “intentionally homeless” and therefore terminate support.
    And “evictions” also seem to be necessary in the case of apparently abandoned premises, just in case the tenant might reappear later (though hopefully there would be a time limit on this!)
    So there will be a surge, especially relating to “problem tenants”, and this will probably cause a crisis.
    But this will NOT for the reasons that Shelter is suggesting.

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