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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Government urged to protect renters from eviction

Thousands of renters face the prospect of losing their homes when the rental eviction ban lifts next month unless the government takes urgent action to better support tenants facing financial hardship, it has been claimed. 

Renters across England and Wales received greater protection in mid-June after the government extended the suspension of new evictions until the latter part of next month, taking the moratorium on evictions to a total of five months. The move was designed to ensure that renters continue to have certainty and security during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

But last month, the government confirmed that its ban on evictions due to the coronavirus pandemic would come to an end on 23 August, allowing landlords to start proceedings to evict tenants if deemed necessary. 

With the government now easing lockdown measures, there is growing concern among some organisations, including StepChange and Generation Rent, that many renters may now lose their homes. 

The debt and housing organisations have written an open letter to the housing secretary expressing their concerns. You can read the letter here

StepChange CEO, Phil Andrew, said: “The coronavirus emergency has wreaked havoc on people’s finances - it’s not right that this turmoil should be accompanied by the threat of eviction. The government has shown through the announcement of its Breathing Space scheme, that it recognises the importance of allowing those in financial difficulty the space to recover. People who have fallen into rent arrears during the pandemic need the same respite.

“The government can grant them this space by making the legal changes needed to safeguard against unjust evictions and should also consider how it can help tenants pay off arrears where coronavirus has left them with no chance to repay. The knock-on consequences of debt and eviction can be severe for individuals and threaten to undermine the economic recovery for everyone. The government must act to prevent this.”

StepChange and Generation Rent are urging the government to commit to greater protections for the estimated 590,000 people who have fallen into rent arrears and are facing housing insecurity during the pandemic. 

To give people space to recover, the letter recommends that plans to end Section 21 evictions must be accelerated, as well as urging temporary changes to Ground 8 to give courts discretion to suspend a possession order in cases where arrears have built up.

Generation Rent Director, Alicia Kennedy, said: “Over half a million households are behind on their rent and people are terrified about losing their homes. 

“The government must prevent Section 21 no fault evictions or Section 8 evictions for rent arrears built up during the pandemic. 

“Renters urgently need reassurance that they will not lose their home due to the economic shock of Coronavirus, as the government promised in March. The government must use the final days of parliament to ensure that no home is at risk.”

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    There is an easy for the government to protect tenants from eviction, pay their rent for them.

  • Mark Wilson

    This is going to be a very loud lobby for Landlords to contend with. Government are also in a tough position as they wont want to deal with the problems of homelessness evictions will cause.

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    Let the Govt. pay landlords then. They have paid everyone else for wages at 80%, so why should they not pay Landlords 80% of THEIR income?

    Makes sense to me. Perfect sense.

     
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    Hopefully it will also be a very loud lobby for Govt to contend with, by raising LL’s Human rights and Unfair discrimination against LL’s in Govt. Policies.
    The Govt excluded rental income in SEISS or JRS for COVID19 support.
    Self employed, especially many Elderly pensioners had invested their money in buying 1 rental property to supplement meagrely pensions.
    Many of them are suffering now as rental income is not part of SEISS, they can not claim UC due to property values and paper income not paid by the tenant-whilst the tenant is taking advantage of Govt support.

    Clearly an unfair discrimination is happening against LL’s, which even a vision impaired person can see but not the Govt., Judges, Lawmakers & Liberal Liebour rogue tenants supporters.

    There needs to be a new policy to remove unfair discrimination towards LL’s
    ‘Don’t pay, Evict today’ should be the Govt.policies mantra for evicting non paying rogue tenants for fairness, and equality towards All parties in this industry sector.

     
    Ingrid Mott

    We small landlords should not have to lose. We are about the only sector that cant cant get help unless we are a registered business. Government doesnt want homelessness, dont make US bankrupt. We do not OWE freebies.

     
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    Ingrid Mott,
    Small landlords are losing out as Self employed, and as a Business alike.
    #ForgottenLtd directors are not receiving any govt help either-as usual due to discriminatory laws against PRS LL’s-it’s a Lose Lose situation for small Landlords-both in Residential and Commercial property sector since the no gooders Liebour Liberals, councils, judges and laws favour unscrupulous tenants/lodgers.

     
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    I can see LL's adapting to these proposals if they come in by whatever means necessary & lettings agents going out of business.
    GR & other similar organisations will cause because of their naive actions homelessness on a massive scale. No professional LL can house people without payment.
    Time for these non paying tenants to go back home to Mum & Dad for a bit

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    If it takes me more time, or any extra funds for whatever reason, then funnily enough, this will get passed on to tenants with an extra 15% of cost.

    And I make more money. Keep it coming please Mr. Johnson.

     
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    What about landlords that just want to move back to their own homes and are only landlords due to other circumstances - how is it that is is not possible to live in your own home, and have to pay a mortgage for a tenant who may or may not decide to make rental payments? Maybe landlords need to unite and remove our rental properties from the market and let the government figure out how to house people. (I obviously know that is an outrageous comment - but these are outrageous times).

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    Roslyn Day,
    Spot on!
    I know one LL who is facing exactly the same scenario after having been made redundant from a role away from her main home, which she had rented whilst relocating for work. She is now unable to return home because the tenant is in situ, not paying rent, and can not be evicted - a disastrous outcome thanks to Govt’s discriminatory policies against LL’s.

    Currently there is no United Landlords group to lobby the Govt for fairness and to stop discrimination towards LL’s.
    There is clearly a requirement for good Human Rights lawyers to issue a joint lawsuit against the Govt. and/or Rogue tenant supporting Mayors/MP’s/Councils to start protecting LL’s from govts stealth rogue practices making Landlords suffer.
    A few of my PRS LL associates have decided to leave our properties (Leeds, London, Bucks and Surrey) vacant rather than rent and then face huge eviction costs.
    Local council’s approached us to rent to them, even to help convert to HMO’s but we have declined due to Govt’s unfair discriminatory policies towards LL’s. We will decide in due course whether to sell or hold the properties or if the LL’s are empowered to evict rogue tenants then may be rent them again.
    In the absence of LL supporting policies allowing for immediate/1 week eviction of non paying/rogue tenants damaging property, PRS is clearly a waste of time & energy, and lack of a group of legal eagles protecting LL’s Human Rights only makes it worse.

     
  • Suzy OShea

    Corona Virus has hit everyone financially. For how much longer does this government insist on making landlords provide forced loans to tenants and governments by housing these tenants for free. If this is the case then they must make the banks offer lines of credit to Landlords.

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    it has not hit the public sector at all--mps got an extra £10000 to stay at home! why are "conservatives" supporting the bloated public sector?

     
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    If the Govt. does nothing, then they will find themselves with a mammoth housing problem through lack of properties by Landlords either selling off, of just leaving houses empty.

    And I mean MAMMOTH!!!!!!

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    What about those new landlords who have invested their hard earn money for their family’s future? Who will protect and support landlords who will receive notices from mortgage companies for none payment because their tenants are not paying?

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    • 23 July 2020 16:18 PM

    I'm afraid chaps that despite all comments so far which you are all justified in making and are totally correct the Govt doesn't give a a damn about the human rights of Private LL

    They know they can do what they like to LL and the public won't be interested at all.

    Govt knows that most LL will do whatever it takes to avoid repossession.

    This will involve where possible LL accessing private resources to support mortgage payments where rent isn't being paid.

    Govt is relying on this situation to keep rent defaulting tenants in the rental properties.

    LL will be desperately attempting to raise the finances to pay mortgage payments for as long as it takes to evict the rent defaulting tenants.

    We are talking years to evict here.

    There is simply no way the County Court or even the HC services will be able to cope with the massive backlog in cases.

    Even during normal times it would take 10 months or more to evict.

    With the circumstances as they are there is no way the CC and HC will even be able to get to a normal situation for years.

    It is inevitable that many LL simply won't be able to resource mortgage payments for what could easily be years to achieve eviction.

    Such LL will be bankrupted ending up homeless themselves.
    Repossessed properties rarely achieve market prices.

    LL obviously DON'T wish to damage future business prospects so it could be that such LL have to use any profits they have made over previous years to ensure their mortgage payment histories are kept correct as paid in full and on time.

    Lenders won't be aware of any issues providing LL keep the mortgage payments going.

    This is what LL will wish to achieve.

    Govt knows all this which is why they are totally justified in expecting tenants not to be evicted anytime soon.
    Plus they know making the eviction process even more difficult will just enable struggling tenants to live for free for far longer.

    LL to survive must expect to have to pay tens of thousands of pounds to keep mortgage payments going.

    Of course even more galling a situation will be for those S24 LL who will be expected to pay tax on fictitious income with a fictitious income.

    Of course they won't be paying any tax on rental income as there wont be ANY.
    But S24 taxes will still be payable.

    So we will now have the ludicrous situation for S24 LL only where if possible they use their own resources to make the mortgage payments and also have to find additional resources to pay the S24 taxes!!!

    The world has gone f#####g mad!!!!

    This is an outright attack on LL as a business community.

    To me this is unprecedented Govt action against a business community that through no fault of it's own is being prevented from trading normally.
    Govt has no care if it bankrupted every LL.
    This could happen.
    Surely all businesses should be allowed the ability to trade?

    LL are simply being prevented from even attempting this if they cannot get rid of non-paying clients.

    We LL can shout as much as we like we will be ignored by Govt.

    I have or will have 2 vacant properties.
    No way will I let them to tenants.
    I may take on lodgers as I occupy both properties.
    But I simply CANNOT risk letting without RGI and none bar one of my occupants has ever been able to qualify for RGI.

    I look upon the current rising market as a great opportunity to sell up.

    It is no longer viable to be a mortgaged LL with such a useless eviction process now being even more useless if that were possible.

    Time for LL to become unencumbered where possible and if not time to sell up.

    The sector is being placed in an intolerable position.
    Manifestly unfair of course but Govt and society at large simply doesn't care.

    LL if you never realised it you surely must know now that you are on your own.
    Many won't make it.
    The PRS is due a major reset as to who bothers remaining a LL.

    Unencumbered LL stand a good chance of surviving and prospering.

    The next few years will be desperate times for LL

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    it seems to me that boris is trying to destroy all private business

     
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    Everyone is very good at telling us what to do while we fund everything. Why don't Step Change & Generation Rent house the people for free so, just put your money where your mouth is or keep shut.

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    • 25 July 2020 23:09 PM

    @michaelfoley & terry sullivan

    I would suggest that your sentiments are totally correct and are shared by most other LL.

    Govt wishes to eradicate small LL.
    There won't even be that much homelessness as rental stock declines.

    Most of the homeless will be the hospitality workers with their flakey jobs who will simply return to the parental home.

    There won't be any jobs for them so they might as well return home to mummy and daddy

    There will be a much reduced demand for rental properties.

    Govt doesn't care if it creates more homeless
    Most of the new homeless will be reabsorbed into their previous domestic circumstances.

    There will be more crowded parental residential properties so overt increased homelessness won't be visible.

    It surely must be obvious to LL that Govt is attempting to get rid of the private LL class even if this does result in increased homelessness.

    Quite frankly there is nothing LL can do to combat this Govt LL eradication policy.

    The best that LL can do is to become unencumbered or convert to residential mortgages and take in lodgers.

    For those wishing to let to tenants rather than lodgers then going unencumbered would be the most effective way to combat Govt LL eradication policies.

    But LL must be under no illusions that Govt seeks the destruction of the LL class.

    It would much prefer that only large corporates provided private rental accommodation.
    All Govt policies are being directed with this end in mind.

    Personally I can't see how Govt can be prevented.
    The only viable defensive strategy I can come up with is to convert to having lodgers in multiple residential properties where this is possible.

    If not perhaps FHL.
    But remaining an AST LL with a mortgage looks increasingly unviable.

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