Warning sounded on rent arrears post-lockdown

Following the decision to extend the tenant eviction ban until at least 22 February, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is calling on the government to show the same support for landlords as it has for tenants.

The landlord body has accepted the need for the delay in tenant evictions amid the Covid-19 crisis, but believes that landlords should be offered the same level of support from the government during these difficult times.

Research for the NRLA indicates that more than 800,000 renters in England and Wales have built arrears since lockdown measures started in March last year.

The scale of the rent debt crisis now engulfing the sector means that without further government support, landlords cannot continue that support indefinitely, the organisation says.

Data published by the Ministry of Justice shows that in the fourth quarter of 2020, the number of claims made by private landlords in England and Wales to repossess properties fell by 37% compared to the same period in 2019, as many landlords continue to do all they can to support tenants facing hardship during the pandemic.

The number of possession claims made under the accelerated procedure, used by both private and social landlords, also fell by just under 43% in the final quarter of last year compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

Overall, across the whole of 2020, the number of claims by private landlords to repossess properties fell by 48%, with the number of claims made under the accelerated procedure dropping by just over 52%.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “The figures show that despite fears to the contrary, landlords have prioritised sustaining tenancies and supporting renters during the pandemic.

“That said, landlords cannot continue indefinitely going without receiving rent. Bans on repossessions are only leading to tenants accumulating more and more debt which will become impossible for them to pay back. This will eventually lead to many more losing their homes.

“Ministers can still avert this if they step in to help the sector through a package of hardship loans and grants.”


Email the story to a friend


  1. PossessionFriendUK39

    NRLA  – ‘ accepted the need for the delay in tenant evictions amid the Covid-19 crisis ‘

    W.T.F.  ?

    Are the NRLA  representing Landlords or tenants –  I don’t think they’re sure –  trying to run with the Foxes and the Hounds.

    1. paulgbar666

      Makes you wonder whether the NRLA would accept the regrettable circumstances that many LL were being repossessed because with feckless rent defaulting tenants and the eviction ban they could no longer meet their mortgage commitments.   Presumably the NRLA would find that unfortunately acceptable!!!?? The NRLA are a disgrace. What the NRLA should do is call upon Govt to immediately suspend all eviction processes and allow all LL who have rent defaulting tenants to be able to evict tomorrow with Police assistance if necessary. Then have the Councils comply with their Statutary Housing duty for all the removed feckless rent defaulting tenants.   Will never happen of course but the fecklessness of the NRLA is truly astounding. Talk about kicking a man while he is down!?    

    2. Tegs Dad

      They have little or no influence with the government and they know it. They are hedging their bets. If Boris was advised that Ben Beadle was on line 1 and Polly Bleate was on line 2 – guess which call he’d take.

      1. PossessionFriendUK39

        Polly wouldn’t be ‘on the line,’  her and Bojo would likely be having lunch somewhere  !

  2. Gloslet

    Let’s be clear here, in the vast majority of instances it is not tenants who are at fault and it is not landlords who are at fault, it is the politicians who have allowed this situation to be created and to continue.
    I think any right-minded person accepted the need for a delay in tenant evictions due to the Covid-19 crisis.

    Where the issue is, is that financial support to tenants or landlords has not been forthcoming.

    It would, and could, be easily resolved by the English Government offering – as devolved assemblies have, a low interest or interest free loan to tenants to allow them to meet their financial priorities and to allow them to remain in a property without fear of eviction.

    1. PossessionFriendUK39

      ‘ Right-minded ‘  landlords who were financially able to sustain a few months rent arrears until a payment structure was put in pace (  which as you say,  didn’t happen.)  may have accepted that.

      NO  Landlords accepted a wholesale suspension of Possession,  which included arrears and cases that had been ongoing Before the virus and had nothing to do with it.  !

      Where tenants are legally evicted ( using normal legislative procedures, )  they become the liability of the state to accommodate, where they are not  deemed Intentionally Homeless.

      What the Govt did was manipulate the legislature to offset their welfare responsibilities onto Private landlords.

    2. paulgbar666

      Whilst what you state is an an option.

      The fact is the vast majority of tenants have been feckless.

      So it is their fault.


      Most of these feckless tenants had made NO provision for sudden income loss.

      Accepting that it isn’t their fault in most cases doesn’t excuse their lack of planning.

      You can bet they were all living it up before with no savings.


      Instead they relied on being able to ponce of LL courtesy of the already dysfunctional eviction process compounded by the Govt eviction ban.

      Top that off with the pathetically useless civil recovery process results in a useless system which facilitates rent defaulting.

      Believe me if feckless rent defaulting tenants could be booted out quickly their attitude would rapidly change such that many would have made relevant provisions to cover their normal domestic costs for at least 1 year and in light of the way things are going 2 years of provision would be better.


      But because the welfare system supports the feckless then there is no imperative for them to bother with such provisions like Savings or Income replacement polices.

      The idiot at the BoE suggests that there will be a spending splurge because of savings that have been achieved.


      Well if the whole population wasn’t so feckless then those savings would be put aside to cover domestic expenses like RENT!!

      That would avoid having to ponce off LL!!

      But no this idiot at the BoE wants everyone to fecklessly spend savings etc.

      Perhaps once 2 years of savings have been achieved to cover normal domestic expenditure for 2 years then discretionary spending may occur.

      But of course Govt is depending on fecklessness to support the economy.

      Perhaps OK if next time the Govt doesn’t prevent LL from evicting and doesn’t pay furlough.

      The problem is fecklessness pays.




      1. Suffolk Girl


        Unfortunately, not everyone is able to regularly save ‘for a rainy day’s

        Whilst I agree, some do spend more than needed just because they have got it, alot of people are living pay check to pay check.

        It is a well-known fact that Unfortunately many get stuck in the renting cycle with no chance of saving for a deposit to get on the property ladder.


        Unfortunately salarys have not really increased, but the cost of living has, especially with gas/electric and food bills, making it even more difficult and more people living hand to mouth.


        I fully agree that the should be more support to landlords, Unfortunately some benefit payments are not making it to the landlord,  again a problem seen when benefits is the main income, and it just does not cover everything.  Rental payments direct to landlords would help with this.


        I do agree that tenants need to be protected to a certain extent,  what has been put in place is ludicrous.

        Landlords are only gonna to eventually get them out, give up & sell up, leaving the supply of Rental properties in an even worse state.



You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

More top news stories

Foxtons chief executive receives £1m bonus package despite shareholder revolt

Continue Reading ...

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.