The pandemic has hit hard on both Landlords and Tenants alike. Landlords have been stuck with Tenants who have been unable to pay rent and Tenants are still under financial pressure from the ongoing crisis. From 1 June 2021 the restrictions against the repossessions of residential properties are set to be lifted. This means that Tenants who have been protected for over a year, and with no end in sight from the after effects of Covid-19, could face eviction.
Much of the support provided by the government has been to ensure that Tenants are able to remain in their homes. To date however, no targeted financial package has been announced to deal with the ever-growing issue of outstanding rents and charges. Without the appropriate support, there is a real risk that homelessness could increase across the UK.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association said:
“If the Chancellor wants to avoid causing a homelessness crisis, he must develop an urgent financial package including interest free, government guaranteed loans to help tenants in arrears to pay off rent debts built since March 2020.”
This support however must also extend to Landlords, who have had to bear the costs of their properties with little to no income from their Tenants. They themselves now face huge liabilities and costs, with their own creditors and outgoings to meet.
Labour Shadow Secretary Thangam Debbonaire expressed her view that there were “loopholes” in the current possession system which has been in place during the recent lockdowns. This meant that hundreds have already been evicted and her belief is that “the government should strengthen the ban on evictions, and protect family finances by dealing with rent arrears and lost income, to keep their promise that nobody will lose their home because of Coronavirus”.
It is anticipated however that the current 6 months’ notice period restriction will be reduced to four months’ notice to allow Landlords the option to regain control of their properties much sooner.
With Homeless Charities advising that their helplines are flooded with Tenants who are faced with a real fear of homelessness, there is a call on the government to keep their promise and once again step in to protect all stakeholders. Many argue that this should be done by tackling the issues rather than just delaying matters.
Franz Doerr, Chief Executive at Flatfair, argues:
“Since it was introduced last year, the ban on bailiff evictions has only served as a sticking plaster for the rental market. Huge sums of debt are piling up at the feet of landlords who are continuing to unfairly prop up the market.
“Instead of merely kicking the can down the road, the government should be scrambling to save struggling renters from plunging further into debt”
There is however continued uncertainty as to what package of support will be offered, if any.
At this time, the current ban against commercial evictions has been extended until 30 June 2021.
Here at Farleys we understand the challenges that both landlords and tenants face at this time. If you need our help or assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our Property Team. To discuss your options as a Landlord or Tenant, please call 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.