A wave of buy-to-let repossessions could overtake landlords

The UK is heading for a deeper housing crisis driven by a wave of buy-to-let repossessions unless the Government urgently takes the shackles off renting legislation, according to a leading property litigation lawyer.

Mary Rouse, from Midlands law firm Wright Hassall, is warning that unless some of the temporary legislation is revoked to allow landlords the power to evict tenants who are in breach of their tenancy through anti-social behaviour, domestic violence or large debt accrued before Covid, then thousands of buy-to-let landlords will themselves  face possession action by their lenders.

The warning is being made at a time when landlords – many of whom manage properties as businesses – are under increasing pressure from their lenders to start making repayments on their buy-to-let mortgages, despite Government imposed temporary legislation preventing them from acting upon non-payment of rent.

The inevitable consequence of this is that families will be made homeless and there will be fewer properties available to rent, with buy-to-let landlords either losing their properties to their lenders or selling up.

The latest round of eleventh-hour amendments to legislation include a one-month extension to the blanket ban on evictions, until 20 September 2020, while the amount of notice that a landlord has to give their tenant has been doubled from three months to six months until at least March 2021.

Rouse said: “We need legislation that treats both landlords and tenants fairly and, at the moment, this simply is not the case.

“For landlords, the risk of losing their properties to lenders, who cannot keep extending payment holidays, looms, while the uncertainty for a lot of tenants is reaching breaking point, so something has to give.

“For me, the way forward is a very clear amendment which enables landlords to progress cases where a tenancy breach is non-Covid related, i.e.  antisocial behaviour, domestic violence, or where substantial arrears had accrued before Covid began.

“Equally, money must be found to cover the full rent for tenants who find themselves in difficulty as a direct consequence of Covid until they return to employment.

“Only then will we start to see some stability in the rental market – security for tenants and income for landlords.

“Without swift intervention on both fronts, we will be faced with an increase in people being made homeless and fewer private rental properties, all of which will place an impossible burden on the already creaking social housing sector.”

 

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9 Comments

  1. anon-mon73

    I personally own over 100 properties and thought I would build a business to pass to children.

    I’m now not too sure, I’m inclined to sell the worst and leave cash/shares as I can only see this getting worse over the coming years.

    What the government are doing with one sided protection in an illiquid asset class. I could see many selling tomorrow if they could; many will over the coming few years and then who will house the renters?

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    1. The_Maluka

      Added to the rented housing shortage will be a lack of shop doorways as many more shops close.  Additional park benches, suitably socially distanced, may provide temporary respite but a permanent solution must be found.  Bring back Heather Wheeler MP, she was going to eliminate homelessness, we need someone with her drive and determination.

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  2. Property Poke In The Eye

    Goverment need to take on the housing issue opposed to passing the issue to landlords.

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  3. Woodentop

    “Equally, money must be found to cover the full rent for tenants who find themselves in difficulty as a direct consequence of Covid until they return to employment”.

     

    This is the only answer to those that can prove that Covid-19 has caused sever hardship resulting in arrears.

     

    Any other tenant that is non-covid related should be treated as normal. The blanket policy adopted by governments on stopping possession procedure has nothing to do with Covid-19. It is pandering to pressure by the looney left socialist ideas be it politician’s or organisations and local government that have no homes to house them once kicked out, so doing their best to keep them in PRS where they shouldn’t be.

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  4. PossessionFriendUK39

    The Government are acting  ILLEGALLY by manipulating the legislation to off-load the cost of Housing, that is the welfare states responsibility.

    Landlords need to ALL  come together to fund and fight this.

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    1. Tegs Dad

      As has been suggested elsewhere online, if we all gave a couple of quid, we could fund a Judicial Review. I am willing to put my hand in my pocket. Is anyone else?

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      1. PossessionFriendUK39

        Hold that thought  !   –  I might well be publishing something in the foreseeable

        ( also, you might want to look ( follow ) my facebook page ?

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        1. Tegs Dad

          Not on facebook.

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          1. PossessionFriendUK39

            You don’t have to have an account to search it and read articles,  only to Post replies. ( or email me    enquiries@P……F ….d.uk

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