The government’s decision to not extend the ban on landlords evicting renters beyond 23 August is a major concern for many private renters worried about being able to pay their rent when the coronavirus lockdown ends, according to Ringley property management.
Renters across England and Wales received greater protection in mid-June after the government extended the suspension of new evictions until 23 August, 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. However, with the government now easing lockdown measures, there is growing concern among private renters, many of which are concerned that they may lose their homes.
Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley and creator of automated lettings platform, PlanetRent, commented: “There’s no doubt that thousands of renters that are suffering financial difficulty will be terrified to hear the news of no extension to the eviction ban.
“With all of the uncertainty going on at the moment, tenants deserve to be protected by the government from evictions that could be through no fault of their own, and could well be down to financial hardship brought on by being furloughed or losing their job altogether.
“However, it should be noted as recent research by the National Residential Landlords Association [NRLA] pointed out that the majority of landlords are trying to work with their tenants to resolve any issues such as rent arrears.”
Speculation that there will be a sharp increase in evictions once the existing evictions ban is lifted next month has been rejected by the NRLA.
Research published recently by Shelter on rent arrears due to the Covid-19 pandemic suggests that the coronavirus crisis will eventually lead to a rise in tenant evictions, as many people face financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.
But the NRLA says that Shelter’s claim is wide of the mark and fails to acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of landlords are doing all they can to sustain existing tenancies.
An NRLA survey of more than 2,000 tenants across England and Wales found that most tenants 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.
Chris Norris, policy director for the NRLA, commented: “Throughout the lockdown, our surveys show that the vast majority of landlords have been doing all they can to keep people in their homes.”