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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Law firm says that it is highly unlikely that there will be a ‘spike in evictions’

The government’s decision to not extend the ban on landlords evicting renters beyond 20 September is a major concern for many private renters worried about being able to pay their rent. 

Renters across England and Wales received greater protection last month after the government once again extended the suspension of new evictions until 20 September, taking the moratorium on evictions to a total of six months. 

The move was designed to ensure that renters continue to have certainty and security during the Covid-19 pandemic. But with the evictions ban having now expired, there is growing concern among some private renters, especially those worried that they may lose their homes, but that is unlikely to happen anytime soon, according to law firm Royds Withy King.

Jacqui Walton, a senior paralegal in the residential property team at Royds Withy King, said: “The government introduced its moratorium on tenant evictions in March and extended it further in June. 

“The moratorium expired on 20 September, although we should not rule out a further reintroduction if lockdown measures need to be reintroduced.

“It is unlikely that we will see an immediate spike in evictions and certainly not tenants kicked out onto the streets any time soon. Landlords are bound by strict rules designed to slow the process down.”

Landlords that started eviction proceedings before the 3 August must now serve what is called a ‘reactivation notice’. If they do not, any claim will not be relisted by the courts or heard by a judge.

And even when a reactivation notice is served, in fault-based evictions the courts will allow more time between the claim and hearing, typically eight weeks, and given the backlog of cases that is likely to be significantly longer.  

Walton continued: “Eviction claims that started on or after the 3 August now require landlords to enter into what is called a ‘pre-action protocol’, with landlords needing to attempt to agree a resolution with their tenants before issuing a possession claim. Landlords will also need to provide the courts with information on what impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on a tenant, which may have an impact on how much time a tenant is given by the court to vacate a property.

“The guidance on what this means for landlords, what information is needed and what happens if it is not provided is unclear and could leave eviction claims stuck in the courts for many months to come, leaving landlords in limbo.

“Whilst this may give respite to tenants, there does not appear to be any recognition from government that landlords too may be struggling with the loss of income during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Private landlords play a major role in the provision of homes in the UK and whilst it is right that tenants are protected, it must also be remembered that landlords too need protections. The current regime is failing landlords.”

  • Matthew Payne

    I have never understood the calls to extend or bring forward the 23 August/20 September deadlines as the end result is ultimately going to be the same whatever the date. Whether you are a lobbyist wanting to avoid tenants eviction or a landlord demanding possession, the Courts are going to determine when and what happens. Not only will it be a deliberately long drawn out process designed to buy time for the cold weather to pass and to stop a mass movement of tenants, no Court is going to evict a tenant in winter during a pandemic simply becasue they are in arrears, and this second phase is going to be far worse than the one we have already had.

    There will be some extreme cases of course, where landlords can prove dishonest or poor behaviour that might get a favourable judgement for them, but I cant see many properties being reclaimed before late spring/early summer at the earliest.

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    I am sure that is correct, but it does not make it right!!!!!!!
    I bet they would not stop gaoling criminals and murderers in the winter.
    So why should it be so with other crimes of any sort?
    Winter or Summer.

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    Have you bottled it already David ?

    ..."For sure....I would pay for a few boys to carry out their profession."

    ..."Interesting. Where can I get in touch with these Financial Advisors?
    I need them urgently."

     
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    Of Course there was never going to be a spike in evictions anyway so there was no need of messing around with the Law and now there is no Court system, now youngsters in Parliament changing rules every other day willy-nilly. A 38 year old thinks he knows best. I was a LL & built houses years before he was born now he sees fit to drive me out of business, maybe he ate too much at that dinner he paid 12'000 £ to attend.

  • girish mehta

    Government is trying to save money. They need to properly find housing cost and manage via benefit system. They are looking at short term solution only. The Covid is heated to stay. For near future. These policies will drive landlords out.this is going to cause homeless as tenants won’t be able to find houses for rent or rents will keep going up. The government need to build more. Houses.this they have failed to do so far.
    The anti landlords policies will create massive problems.
    No landlords can take hit on their finances for couple of years and survive.

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    There likly will not be a spike in evictiond short term, but all this government is doing is kicking the can further down the road, 6 months notice + the time involved to get the evictions through the courts and then get the bailiffs in = mass homeless winter of 2022, now we have all learned a lot here, no more risk taking with new tenants, check them out well, if in any doubt don't rent to them, better an empty property than one with a feckless tenant sitting in it.

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