The leading landlords trade body is accusing the government of rewarding rent dodgers with its latest restrictions on eviction.
The National Residential Landlords Association says the latest tweaks to the England lockdown eviction controls mean the worst tenants can build almost 18 months of rent arrears without any sanction at all.
The new rules - which we covered yesterday on Landlord Today - say that until January 11 possession orders granted by the courts and relating to rent arrears can only be enforced where the arrears amount to nine months or more. Those nine months must have been in place BEFORE March 23, the day the UK-wide lockdown was announced back in the spring.
Any arrears built since then would be disregarded, the government announcement says.
The NRLA says thisis a missed opportunity to help those tenants in financial difficulty due to Covid-19, and does nothing to actually address housing debt accrued since the beginning of the pandemic.
“In trying to arrive at a compromise the government has failed to help those in genuine need whilst rewarding those whose arrears have nothing to do with the pandemic, and in some cases are wilfully not paying their rent” explains NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.
“This is doing nothing to help those tenants who are trying to do the right thing and seeking to pay off their debts. Instead of prolonging the problem with short-term fixes, the government needs to urgently bring in a financial package to enable tenants to pay off rent arrears.”