Speculation that there will be a spike in evictions once the existing evictions ban is lifted are wide of the mark, new research shows.
There are concerns that the coronavirus crisis will eventually lead to a rise in tenant evictions, as many people face financial hardship, which partly explains why the government has extended the current ban on evicting renters, but a new poll suggests that there is not a crisis looming for private sector tenants.
The survey of more than 2,000 tenants across England and Wales found that 90% had paid their rent as usual since the coronavirus crisis began.
Most, 84%, had not needed to ask their landlord for any support. Of those that did ask, three quarters received a positive response.
Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), which commissioned the poll by Dynata, said: “This survey reflects what we know from our members, which is that nearly all are seeking to support tenants to stay in their homes.
“Given that some 30% of landlords have reported facing some level of financial hardship, they will do all they can to sustain tenancies.”
Ahead of the moratorium being lifted on repossession cases later this year, the NRLA is working with the government to develop a pre-action protocol (PAP) for the private rented sector.
This would ensure that landlords and tenants have done everything possible to reach an agreement on rent arrears before any repossession can take place.
When hearings do resume later this year, the NRLA is calling for priority to be given to cases involving debt built prior to the lockdown, where tenants are engaged in anti-social behaviour and those who might be committing domestic abuse.
Beadle added: “We understand the concerns of tenants who have built up rent arrears as a result of losing income, but even where a landlord seeks to repossesses a property, our legal advice is that a pre-action protocol would provide protection from any landlord seeking to circumvent it and allow Judges to adjourn cases where it has not been followed.
“To argue that there will be a substantial spike in evictions is scaremongering.”