Landlords face going two years without rent

Steve Lumley·9 September 2020·4 min read
Landlords face going two years without rent

Plans by the government to extend their current evictions ban could see landlords going without rent for up to two years, one landlords' organisation is warning.

The National Residential Landlords' Association (NRLA) has written to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that landlords are being asked to subsidise their struggling tenants.

They add that the move also 'rewards those renters who are wilfully refusing to pay rent'.

The cost to a landlord who goes without rent for two years, could be up to £20,800 - based on figures from the English Housing Survey.

Government U-turn over plans for repossession cases

The move follows a government U-turn over plans for repossession cases to be heard once more in the country's courts from 23rd August.

Instead, repossession cases on the grounds of rent arrears will not now be treated as a priority case until the tenant has more than a year's worth of rent arrears built up.

This is in addition to the six months' notice that the landlord must now give a tenant.

And where the case was disputed - in those cases that began before the pandemic lockdown - courts were taking six months on average to deal with cases.

With thousands of repossession cases now causing a backlog, it is feared that landlords are facing a longer period to have their possession case heard.

Majority of landlords have worked constructively with tenants

The NRLA's chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: "The majority of landlords have worked constructively with tenants to sustain tenancies where their rent arrears have been a direct result of the pandemic.

"For those landlords who have done the right thing, the government actions are a kick in the teeth."

He also warns that the government must now use the next few weeks to come up with a credible plan that will see rent arrears that have built up because the pandemic, being paid off.

He also wants to get the courts hearing repossession cases once more.

Mr Beadle said: "Stopping landlords from legally ending disruptive and failed tenancies is not a solution.

"The government must act to cover the cost for providing homes and they cannot expect a landlord to foot the bill for their failure in supporting households."

Tenant demand reaches a record high

The number of new prospective tenants that have registered with estate agent reached a record 97 in July.

The previous high was recorded in January 2020 when the figure was 88.

The average for June was 79.

Arla' president, Phil Keddie, said: "Our figures show the rental sector continues to gather momentum following the reopening of the housing market.

"We have seen demand from tenants continuing to grow and record-breaking levels of rental stock, which provides a positive outlook for the private rented sector's future."