In a move that was intended to “support renters over winter”, Housing Secretary – Robert Jenrick – announced key changes to regulations surrounding tenancy evictions.
The ban on evictions, which has now been extended until the 20th of September, will mark a six-month period in which no tenant has been legally evicted at the height of the pandemic.
From September 21st, it will be a requirement for landlords to provide information on a renter’s financial circumstances in relation to the coronavirus when making possession claims regarding rent arrears.
Alongside this, landlords will now need to provide a notice period of six months when seeking possession of their property. This will apply up to March 2021.
With courts prioritising hearings based on the severity of each individual case, coming to an agreed solution with your tenants would be the preferred approach to take, where rent payments are not being met.
Of course, exceptions have been outlined for the following instances:
• Anti-social behaviour – four weeks’ notice
• Domestic violence – two weeks’ notice
• Rent arrears totalling six months – four weeks’ notice
Could there be a better solution?
Given that the vast majority of private landlords (94%) are renting just one or two properties, this could have significant consequences on income revenue for these individuals.
In a recent letter to the Prime Minister, the National Residential Landlords Association have called for reconsiderations to be made to protect the private rented sector and enable landlords to keep offering accommodation to UK renters.
They wrote that: “failure to provide any direct financial support for the sector during the pandemic means that many landlords will be forced to seek money claims against renters building arrears. This would leave tenants' credit scores in tatters.”
The NRLA put forward the argument that the only way to untangle the conflict with COVID-19 related rent arrears is to offer interest-free, government-guaranteed hardship loans to tenants.
As this has already been introduced in Wales, the NRLA argue that it would be the best solution to “sustain tenancies and remove any risk of eviction as furlough is removed”.
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