There is no eviction crisis looming for tenants

by Property 118

0:01 AM, 6th June 2020
About 4 months ago

There is no eviction crisis looming for tenants

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There is no eviction crisis looming for tenants

There is no eviction crisis looming for private sector tenants, as new independent polling shows almost all have been able to pay their rent as usual during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the survey of over 2,000 tenants across England and Wales, 90 per cent said that they 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.

According to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), which commissioned the poll by Dynata, this shows that concerns over a spike in evictions once the current evictions ban is lifted, are unfounded.

Ahead of the moratorium being lifted on repossession cases, 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, 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.

Ben Beadle, the Chief Executive of the NRLA 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.

“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.”

Although the NRLA has welcomed support for the sector from the Government it says further help should be given to ensure tenants have the cash they need to pay their rent. This includes further extending the Local Housing Allowance so that it fully covers rents, ending the five week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit or converting the existing advance to a grant, and enabling the housing element of Universal Credit to be paid directly to the landlord giving tenants certainty about rent payments.

The Association is also asking the Government to look at a hardship loan scheme for tenants where existing housing support payments are insufficient to meet their costs during the crisis, but who expect their finances to recover in the short to medium term. The loans, similar to a scheme developed in Spain, would be paid directly to the landlord and could be re-paid by the tenant within a fixed number of years.


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Comments

Chris @ Possession Friend

11:39 AM, 8th June 2020
About 4 months ago

More mixed messages from NRLA. Of course there will be an avalance of evictions ( everyone apart from NRLA think so )
There will be some genuine Covid cases that whilst the landlord may be sympathetic, their financial position won't be able sustain a 'private loan' to the tenant.

Then there will be the 'chancers' many of whom will have been in default before Covid and have just used it as an excuse. We are dealing with a number of them.
Then there will be the normal volume of Possession cases that will have naturally built -up over the course of 5 months, and of course - are they forgetting the 20,000 cases that were already in the system before the virus.

No 'Genuine Covid' eviction crisis may have been a better description, but an avalanche of ( Genuine ) Possession claims that will be frustrated by a Pre-Action protocol that will only serve a small minority of those tenants.
My god do landlords need someone on their side at this time, and they're not getting it from NRLA. !

Heather G.

13:20 PM, 8th June 2020
About 4 months ago

I spoke to one of my high street letting agents last week and he said that, of the tenants who were struggling to pay their rent, 90%-95% of landlords have been flexible/supportive.

Chris @ Possession Friend

13:35 PM, 8th June 2020
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Heather G. at 08/06/2020 - 13:20Yes Heather, the 'Genuine Covid' eviction cases will be quite small - whilst the implication of the last 5 months and the continued Pre-Action protocol, have and will apply to all the 'lead-swingers'

Robert Mellors

19:12 PM, 8th June 2020
About 4 months ago

So there's 20,000 backlog BEFORE the eviction ban, (so presumably that's about 2 months' worth of cases?), so then add in the numbers that will have arisen during the 5 month ban (where Notices were served before the ban, but possession hearing not applied for), i.e. another 50,000 cases, so at the end of August there will be a backlog of 70,000 cases.

There will of course then be all the cases where Notice has been served during the eviction ban, so in Sept these Notice periods will start to expire and landlords will start issuing possession claims. The NRLA say 90% of tenants have been paying as usual, so I guess 10% are in arrears (who were not in arrears before the ban), so what is 10% of the total number of private tenants? - I think there are about 5 million private tenants, and about 4 million social housing tenants, so a total of around 9 million tenants. 10% of 9 million is 900,000 tenants, so if just 10% of these are facing eviction when their Notice periods end, that would be another 90,000 tenants facing eviction (in addition to the 70,000 backlog).

How can NRLA say "no eviction crisis looming" when this number are at risk of eviction? and the longer the eviction ban lasts, the worse the problem gets for tenants.

Or, perhaps my figures and logic are all wrong and everything will be sunshine and roses for landlords and tenants alike.....


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