Eviction ban ‘could well be extended further’

The UK government’s decision to extend the ban on evictions in England and Wales last Friday came as little surprise, especially as the Scottish government had already announced an extension north of the border earlier in the week.

Neil Cobbold

Bailiffs are not permitted to carry out section 21 evictions until after 21 February due to the lockdown. But there is growing concern among buy-to-let landlords that the government may decide to prolong the existing ban on tenant evictions beyond next month – particularly if the current lockdown is still in place.

“Although the ban will be reviewed in late February, it could well be extended further,” said Neil Cobbold, chief sales officer at PayProp.

A further ban on evictions prevents landlords from removing tenants during a challenging period.

Cobbold continued: “Landlords with tenants in serious arrears will be disappointed to see their repossession options limited again with little to no financial support to cover their lost income.”

However, eviction action is only being deferred. As well as antisocial behaviour or domestic violence, landlords can now seek eviction when arrears total more than six months’ rent – an amount that now includes arrears that have built up since the beginning of the first lockdown.

Cobbold added: “Letting agencies can help landlords navigate the latest evictions ban by making them aware of the new rules, helping them to organise affordable repayment plans and keeping a digital record of all payments to assist with future eviction cases and providing them with access to a dedicated evictions specialist as a last resort for when the ban is lifted.”

But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is urging the government to extend the evictions and repossessions ban in England and Wales beyond next month, with a view to ensuring that tenants are protected during the current lockdown.

Momentum co-chair Andrew Scattergood described Starmer’s demands as “a step in the right direction”.

Somewhat worryingly for many BTL landlords, he added: “Evictions must be banned until the end of the pandemic with all Covid rent debt forgiven.”

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10 Comments

  1. paulgbar666

    At some point the ‘magic money trees’ that LL have been forced to use to subsidise their feckless rent defaulting tenants must run out of leaves!!   Then what!?   Lenders will repossess LL properties booting out tenants very quickly. They will then come after other properties a LL has to cover mortgage shortfalls on a repossessed property. Mass lender repossessions will result the longer the eviction ban is maintained. Leveraged LL in particular can’t carry on much longer provisioning rental property without rent being paid. The eviction ban must be ended now and the courts to fast track evictions. Govt should ensure that where those who have received furlough income they have paid their rent and if not should recover from them the furlough income via the tax system to give to the LL for rent arrears.   Of course none of this will ever happen.   I suggest when the eviction ban ends lots of LL will be selling up. Their eyes will have been opened to how vulnerable they are to the dysfunctional eviction process which is scheduled to become even more dysfunctional when the AST and S21 are abolished.  

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    1. Payup21

      This extended ban is ok for People making these decisions but do they live next door to one of to these people, I do I have had to put up with/9 months of hell the police are called at least once a week, none payment of rent since march, antisocial noise most the night drugs and this affects my life as well so don’t take pity on them they are not the victims.

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      1. paulgbar666

        There are already regulations which a Council may enforce to shut down a rental property like the one you are describing.

        Councils are abrogating their responsibilities and powers if they refuse to shut this property down.

        Legislation already exists to resolve what you have described.

         

        Can you see your council bothering to enforce this legislation!!!!!!!!?????

         

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  2. Woodentop

    TIME BOMB. Any further extension will result in LL existing the industry. Those that have many tenants in arrears and other issues requiring possession orders are losing £k’s and £k’s which they cannot afford. Those that eventually get a property back in dreadful conditions will not have the money to make good repairs and if they struggle to raise the money … do you honestly expect they will be happy and want to remain in the industry?  
     
    Remember 90% of landlords are not professional landlords and considered dabbling at the market while it doesn’t bite them. There is an ever growing list of people being not just bitten but savaged by rogue tenants taking advantage. Many landlords require the income to support low retirement income and nursing care, while others are running up debts with BTL. Why do people think that all landlords are super wealthy and turn a blind eye to the impact of extending evictions to those landlords that are vulnerable?  
     
    Governments are petrified Landlords leaving the market during the pandemic, will create a catastrophe on housing availability. What do they think is going to happen when this is all over? Delaying the inevitable and accelerating homelessness with mass exit of landlords/properties at the first chance !

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    1. Tegs Dad

      Well said. Every tenant I now take on MUST qualify for Rent Guarantee Insurance and yes, that covers Covid related non-payers.

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      1. paulgbar666

        Unfortunately very few tenants are able to qualify for RGI.

        Also few are able to source a guarantor.

        Not sure if anyone but an idiot would be a guarantor.

        Most people are nasty and wouldn’t be concerned at all in stitching up their guarantor.

        In 12 years I only managed RGI on one tenant……………………….that cost the RGI company £10000 for a £89 annual premium.

        No excess.

        Quite frankly if you can’t source tenants who qualify for RGI then why risk being a LL.

         

        That is what I have realised and is one of the reasons I am having nothing to do with tenants anymore.

        Lodgers are OK but no more tenants.

        I simply don’t have the resources to cover rent defaulting and would be bankrupted if I risk carrying on.

        I have no idea how other LL are managing to pay their BTL mortgages without rent.

        I certainly couldn’t manage it.

        2 months missed mortgage payments and my lender will repossess!

         

         

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        1. Tegs Dad

          Paul, if they don’t qualify for RGI, they rent from someone else, not me.

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          1. paulgbar666

            Oh! I totally agree. However if I adopted such an effective strategy I would have vacant properties for 12 years. I had no choice but to gamble. Had a few very expensive evictions and property floods. Without credit cards I would have been bankrupted years ago. I am just not prepared to carry on relying on tenants to pay their rent. I’m out of here moving to lodgers.

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  3. PossessionFriendUK39

    There’s only so long that the Govt can keep Landlords from accessing due process,  although I am concerned at what the ‘ guidelines ‘  for the Mediation project will be, and how that might affect a court Possession process.

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    1. Orson67

      Don’t worry, even if due process does restart the Courts are doing everything they possibly can to delay the inevitable, I won’t bore you with all the details, suffice to say that we had a WoP granted in October (should have been 20th Sept ’20 when the courts reopened), but that’s another story. The Court has successfully dragged its feet until now, when we finally got our application to enforce the WoP granted. We now await what ever nonsense the Court bailiff has instore to delay the matter yet again, the last communication from the bailiffs appeared to suggest that they didn’t realise that there were exceptions to the ban on evictions. I am absolutely certain that the staff in the Court cannot be this incompetent, their actions have to be deliberate, so it must be the Gov’t telling them to do this.

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