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Eviction ‘is not’ an inevitable outcome for tenants facing financial hardship

Concerns over a spike in evictions once the current ban is lifted are unfounded, according to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).  

Generation Rent last month claimed that thousands of tenants who have struggled to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic face the prospect of losing their home when the government’s temporary ban on evictions ends this month. 

The government’s moratorium on evictions, which runs out on 23 August, is designed to protect tenants that could be facing financial hardship brought on by being furloughed or losing their job altogether. 

But the NRLA argues that Generation Rent wrongly assumes that landlords are doing nothing to support tenants to stay in their homes where rent arrears are building. 

A new survey of tenants out today shows that more than 95% of private renters are paying their rent or have made an arrangement with their landlord to pay a lower rent or defer payment during the pandemic. 

Independent polling for the NRLA finds that 87% of private tenants have paid their rent as normal throughout the pandemic. An additional 8% said that they had agreed a reduced rent, a rent-free period or made some other agreement with their landlord or letting agent. 

The survey also found that just over 3% of tenants are building arrears and are unable or unwilling to repay these. Less than a third - 2%  of the entire survey sample - of all those with arrears have been served with a possession notice.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “Consistent with our previous surveys, this latest data demonstrates that the vast majority of landlords and tenants are working together to sustain tenancies, and critically that the overwhelming majority of tenants are paying rent as normal. 

“Eviction is not, and need not be, an inevitable outcome where tenants have struggled to pay their rent due to COVID-19. Those who argue otherwise are stoking needless anxiety for tenants.”

Further evidence that landlords are working to keep tenants in their homes comes from a separate survey which shows that 55% of landlords who have granted at least one tenant a deferred rent or rent free period plan to absorb the losses from their own savings.

These figures come ahead of new rules being introduced which will mean courts can adjourn possession cases where landlords have failed to adequately explain the impact that the pandemic might have had on their tenants before seeking possession.

The NRLA  is now calling for government guaranteed hardship loans to be made available to help those tenants who are in arrears because of the pandemic. 

Ahead of the winding down of the furlough scheme, the NRLA argues that such loans should be provided to eligible tenants interest free and ring-fenced solely to cover rent payments in order to give tenants security.

Beadle added: “When the courts do start to hear cases again, it is essential that they deal swiftly with the most serious cases, including those where tenants are committing anti-social behaviour or where there are long-standing rent arrears that have nothing to do with the pandemic.

“To offer security to tenants and landlords badly hit during the lockdown we are calling on the government to introduce a tenant loan scheme to help pay off arrears built due to the coronavirus.”

Poll: Do you think a careful re-opening of evictions needs to take place that prioritises pre-Covid 19 debt, anti-social behaviour and domestic violence?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • Mark Wilson

    Very doubtful statistics understating the problem.

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    If they don't pay they must go.
    And they must pat the unpaid rent.
    I hope they get what they deserve. That will teach them a lesson about their fecklessness..
    I also hope that get many, and many more CCJ's to work as a reminder of their thieving habits.

    Paul Barrett

    UNFORTUNATELY despite I reckon every LL agreeing with you it is clear that Govt policy is to ensure that tenants are largely untroubled by feckless rent defaulting.

    I DON'T remember Govt putting in place regulations that allowed people to fill up trolleys at supermarkets and be able to walk out without having to pay!!

    Govt has determined that it is perfectly acceptable for tenants to be given the opportunity to rent default and still use rental accommodation.

    No consideration has been given by Govt as to the effects on the viability of a property if the LL DOESN'T receive the contractual rent.

    I consider as you that Govt is conspiring in theft from LL of legitimate rent.

    I would go as far as to state that Govt is engaging in criminal conspiracy to deprive LL of legitimate rent receipts or preventing LL from trying to obtain rent from other tenants the LL may source.

    All we have are mealy mouthed words from Govt that LL should engage with their tenants to resolve payment issues.

    All the talking in the world won't pay a BTL mortgage payment.

    Most BTL lenders will be considering LPA receivership after two such missed payments.

    All the talking in the world won't resolve the mortgage payment problem.

    I have NEVER come across a LL who has a magic money tree.

    Clearly Govt must believe LL have such trees as how are LL supposed to psy mortgages without any rent!?

    Does Govt seriously not recognise that 50% of the PRS is mortgaged and that this 50% has very effectively housed millions that Govt chose to have nothing to do with.
    Well now Govt expects this to be achieved without any rent being paid!!!!!!!????

    Why is it only the PRS that is being forced by Govt regulation to provide services for free risking the very viability of that accommodation!?

    Surely this is counter-productive?

    DOESN'T Govt need those LL to house those tenants!?

    Govt must realise that LL will eventually refuse to house for free.
    The whole point of being a LL is to make as much PROFIT as possible.
    If LL are effectively being prevented from achieving this by Govt then there really is no point in being a LL!

    The PRS is the only business in the UK being forced by Govt to provide their services for FREE.

    Govt seems to believe this is a sustainable proposition.

    I believe they consider that LL will do whatever it takes to keep a property afloat.
    For that reason alone they feel they can presume the LL will discuss with tenants their arrears.

    What a load of twaddle.
    I have a flat now vacant for 2 months.
    I will not be taking on DSS tenants.
    If no normal tenants with RGI appear I will be selling.
    I am simply not prepared to let and then not be able to evict.

    So potentially this will be first property I sell with the remaining 3 to go over the coming 3 years.

    I refuse to be used as a FREE accommodation service by Govt.
    I'd rather keep the properties empty.
    How that assists tenants I have no idea.
    I am simply not that desperate to take on DSS tenants.
    I'd rather sell!!

    But like it or not we LL have to accept that Govt will do everything in it's power to prevent LL from profiting from their investments.

    They intend to use those private assets to house people for free.

    They can achieve this due to the dysfunctional eviction process.
    Govt intends to make it even more dysfunctional.

    I believe the only way for LL who wish to remain leveraged to survive is to reduce the LTV such that the LHA rates could pay for the BTL mortgage.
    For most LL that would mean massive payments to mortgage accounts which would be difficult to achieve as most lenders restrict how much a mortgage debt may be reduced by annually.
    LL are caught between a rock and a hard place.
    I can't see LL subject to rent defaulting tenants surviving.

    Made even worse by Govt ensuring the eviction process remains ever more dysfunctional.

    When you consider what the Govt is doing to the PRS especially those mortgaged LL the business proposition is extremely suspect to say the least!!

    Personally I can't wait to stop being a BTL LL.
    I know Govt is trying to eradicate me.
    I'd rather eradicate myself on my terms rather than the Govt's

     
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    The harder it is made for us to evict none paying tenants the harder it will be for people on benefits, the under 25s and single mums to find a landlord to rent to them, it's called minimizing risk.

    Paul Barrett

    I would suggest included in your categories will be anyone in a flakey hospitality job.
    Now your gold plated Tenants are any Govt worker.
    Anyone who works for supermarkets or their supply chain.
    That's about it.
    Anyone who has bern furloughed is a pretty flakey business proposition.
    Though to my knowledge not all those furloughed will lose their jobs.
    I know for a fact that Stansted Airport security have bern furloughed with no hint they will be sacked.
    The staff are needed at the airport.
    They are just taking it in turns to be furloughed.

    For me I will not take on anyone who works in hospitality.
    Those are the sorts of jobs that stop in a lockdown situation.
    Letting to those essential workers who will never be sacked in any pandemic are the best tenants to have.

    If a tenant told me they worked for a supermarket that would be sufficient reference for me!!

    No chance of being made redundant!


     
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    Good to see that the NRLA believe that "concerns over a spike in evictions once the current ban is lifted are unfounded"... now that Scotland are talking of extending until April 2021.

    Who wants to put money on the UK doing the same, or something similar ?

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    Sadly Seb I fully expect you could be right, however my residential tenants are all paying at present, I do have a commercial tenant who cannot trade at present , but it's very easy to get rid of a commercial tenant, all though I am hoping that I don't have to

     
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