11:47 AM, 1st September 2020, About 2 years ago 6
The Government announced a tiny concession amongst its horrendous anti-landlord policies on Friday, when it stated that in cases of domestic violence, the landlord only has to give 2 weeks’ notice and in cases of anti-social and/or 6 months’ arrears, 4 weeks’ notice (rather than the previously announced 6 months’ notice).
This statement has thrown up many long-standing questions, which it would have done well to focus its efforts on over recent years, instead of constantly dreaming up ways of attacking landlords.
For example, if a man (it’s usually men, but I welcome feedback about male victims and how this can be different for them) hits his female partner and the police are called, what happens next?
Will the police ensure he cannot return? How? Will the police be briefed on this and will they let the landlord know they can give 2 weeks’ notice for him to leave?
When the 2 weeks’ notice is up, what happens? Does the landlord have to then take 6-12 months in the court system, actually evicting the tenant (as opposed to having the theoretical right to get rid in 2 weeks)?
How is the victim protected during this time?
The aggressor will often have the main financial resources, so is it actually going to be the case that it is he who retains the 6-12 months’ right to remain in the property while the (usually) female victim and children are made homeless? In cases where the woman and any children remain in the home, how will they pay the rent if they don’t have sufficient resources and if Housing Benefit doesn’t cover it?
If they do flee the home, where will they go? Places in women’s refuges are scarce, and many landlords can now only take on people with the greatest means and UK homeowner guarantors. This is because the Government has made paying rent optional, with evictions effectively outlawed for at least 12 months, by the time they have gone through the legal process. Landlords can’t risk having no income for all that time, which they do risk if they take on people who may not meet affordability criteria or have guarantors.
The issues are similar in cases of anti-social behaviour but I want to focus on domestic violence here. Many private landlords have faced issues with violent tenants and all the complex issues this throws up and I want to grasp some of this complexity and feed it back to the Government, from a landlord’s perspective.
Of all victims of domestic violence, the social sector only re-houses 2%, with private landlords catering for much of the rest, so we are at the centre of this.
To that end, I would appreciate any thoughts and particularly any stories landlords have of how this has affected them.
The Telegraph has reported on a case where a landlord is now facing eviction from her rented property and homelessness because she is owed £35,000 from her non-paying tenant whom she can’t evict because of Government policies. ‘Eviction ban cost me £35,000 and made me homeless’: landlords face chaos as renters’ help extended