As you will be aware, the housing eviction ban was due to end this month. However, on 8 January 2021, the Housing Secretary announced that there would be another extension to the ban for private renters in England.
The evictions ban has now been extended to 21 February 2021. There will be regular reviews, so we do not know at the moment whether this will be extended again or not.
In light of the recent lockdown, it is no surprise that the Government has made this announcement, yet over the past few weeks the UK Government has held off updates about evictions to the sector making it impossible for agents and landlords to respond and plan for the difficult winter months. The whole of the private rented sector has been impacted as a result of COVID-19, but the courts already faced a backlog of cases prior to the pandemic.
Although the new mediation pilot will help, it is important to take steps back towards normality so that both landlords and tenants can access the justice system while putting measures in place to offer further support to tenants who have built up COVID-related arrears through no fault of their own.’
There are some exemptions to the regulations that you should be aware of, these include:
They define extreme rent arrears as equivalent to six months of rent with any arrears accrued since 23 March 2020.
This is a very challenging time for landlords, especially those that have a small portfolio of properties and a mortgage to pay. The continued lockdown is expected to lead to more tenants falling into arrears.
Many landlord groups have been lobbying the Government for financial support to help landlords deal with this issue, including ARLA Propertymark whom we are members of. Our Director, Adam is the East Midlands ARLA representative so he can pass on your views to ARLA propertymark.
Ben Beadle, National Residential Landlords Association said ministers were “doing more harm than good” by “repeatedly banning repossessions" as this stacked up more tenant debt on top of their existing arrears. "The repossessions ban is a sticking plaster that will ultimately lead to more people losing their homes.”
We will continue to keep you up to date with any changes to the evictions ban and any support given to landlords by the Government. In the meantime, if there is anything, we can do to help you then please do contact us by calling 0115 704 3163 (Nottingham) or 01623 277115 (Mansfield). Alternatively, you can email us via our contact us page – click here.