Landlords urged to budget for the next six months as repossession proceedings are scrapped

The Government confirmed a suspension of housing possession court proceedings at the end of last week and landlords are being warned they could now face waiting until the end of the year to get their properties back.

The Ministry of Housing has suspended all ongoing possession cases for 90 days initially but said this could be extended if needed.

Paul Shamplina, founder of eviction specialists Landlord Action, said he has already seen cases scrapped.

He told EYE: “We were having cases for Landlord Action adjourned for three months before the announcement.

“We have hundreds of cases for landlords which will suspended.

“On those current cases already issued at court, the landlord and tenant relationship would have already broken down, but arrears will just accrue.

“So many landlords will be struggling. The reality is even if landlords were to get their properties back, they would be lying empty, as trying to find new tenants will be near enough impossible, with job uncertainty and bans on inspections and move ins.”

He said landlords would have to have open dialogue with their tenants, see proof that there tenant has been affected by the coronavirus and speak to their lenders for a mortgage payment break.

Shamplina added: “It is not in the bank’s interest to be aggressive with landlords.

“We have entered the unknown on how long this lasts, but landlords need to try and budget for the next three to six months if they can, because the reality is I cannot see them gaining possession from the courts from hearing stage to bailiff enforcement until the end of the year.

“The courts will be absolutely swamped with applications and the have left the door open to extend the suspension until September.

“I believe in the future there will be a pre-action protocol coming in, where landlords have to carry out a series of engagement before they can serve a notice.

“This current crisis will shape the future of gaining possession through the court system.”

ARLA Propertymark was supportive of the move.

David Cox, chief executive of the trade body, said: “However difficult it may be, this is the right decision in light of the current circumstances. Yet evictions will not be required if we can keep the rent flowing.

“The latest advice is that people stay put, and as long as the Government helps tenants pay their rent, there will not be a large build-up of debt from rent arrears, meaning there will be no logical reason why a landlord would start eviction proceedings.”


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    With regard to the views of David Cox, of ARLA, the critical comments are “as long as the Government helps tenants pay their rent”!

    Without that support for tenants and landlords, eviction proceedings will undoubtedly stack up for when the restrictions are lifted.

  2. JamesB

    landlord bodies yet again supporting actions favouring tenants .. you would think tenants paid their fees not landlords

    1. drasperger

      Supposedly an agent body……… not Landlord?  Sadly however they have decided to devote all their resources to positioning themselves as the rightful regulator for the sector, pandering to the political classes and wooing the lobbyists instead of representing their members.

      It would have been relatively easy to reverse engineer a piece of referencing software to confirm if a tenant was in genuine financial distress, and a targeted pot of money could be directed via registered agents to Landlords to avoid the kind of mayhem that will face the courts when this is all over.

      Now that might have been viewed as progressive action?

  3. PossessionFriendUK39

    Absolutely,  Landlords have been ‘ sold-short ‘ yet again by representative [sic]  bodies. Its little wonder why the PRS ( Landlords AND  Letting Agents )  are always short-changed when only 2% of Landlords belong to any associations, and when those bodies mis-represent them –  what chance do we stand.  !

  4. DASH94

    We’ve had no end of messages from tenants who have dropped onto this ‘landlords offered 3 months mortgage holiday’ phrase and interpreted it to mean that if the landlord is getting it for free then so should they.  One admitted that he and his girlfriend were both on the 80% top up ‘but only to £2500 each – we earn much more than that’.  Their rent is £700 and he said he wanted the money to pay for ‘other things’


    The genuine hardship cases are working with us and their landlords to make payment plans and to manage the arrears – they don’t want to build up a load of debt while this is going on.

    1. PossessionFriendUK39

      Hello Dash 94,

      I’m writing an article on Corona Virus and Landlords and wonder if I could have your permission to use the example you’ve quoted ?

      1. DASH94

        By all means as long as there is no GDPR violation

    2. Mothers Ruin

      We’re the same and prioritising those with SSP only or those made redundant. My landlords are grateful not only because of our initial referencing and quality of tenants but because we are able to respond appropriately to ensure that tenants get help when they need it but also trying to help them not to get into debt by asking then to pay what they can. We’re not taking what they say at face value either. I suspect private landlords won’t be doing so well in this situation.

  5. Deltic2130

    The landlord bodies are useless, pandering to every govt whim. Imagine if they had large memberships and were like the NRA in America – a powerful, almost unionised body that told govt what was what! I’d be proud to be part of that.

  6. DarrelKwong43

    very simply all these landlord/agent bodies or associations  make more money, the more the Government legislate.

    redress schemes, deposit schemes, insurances, client money protection

    there is no incentive for them to lobby hard against it, actually its the opposite.


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