A temporary stop to evictions came into place at the end of March, as part of the Government’s emergency Coronavirus legislation. As Jeni Browne explains, we now have a confirmed date for when courts will hear landlord possession cases again.
At the beginning of June, the initial three-month eviction ban was extended, preventing landlords from starting eviction proceedings during the Coronavirus outbreak. With so many facing continued financial difficulty due to the pandemic, this temporary legislation aimed to protect vulnerable tenants.
Last week, Minister Lord Greenhalgh confirmed that, after a five-month suspension, the eviction ban would be lifted on 23rd August, and that court processes for eviction cases would resume the following day. He said that this would be “an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property.” However, it was reiterated that measures would be in place to ensure “the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.”
For many landlords this will come as a great relief; when the extension was announced Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association said:
“This decision means that some landlords will now be facing five months without receiving any rent as they can take no action against tenants who were not paying before the lockdown started. It also means more misery for tenants and neighbours suffering at the hands of anti-social tenants and will also cause exceptional hardship for a number of landlords, including many who depend on their rental income to live, for which there is no assistance.
“We have every sympathy with tenants who face genuine difficulties because of a loss of income due to the coronavirus crisis and as our survey out tomorrow shows, nearly all landlords are working with tenants who are struggling to keep them in their home.
“It is important that the Government sets out its plans for the market at the end of this one-time extension. A failure to do so will cause serious damage to the private rented sector as a whole. It will ultimately be tenants who suffer as they will find it increasingly difficult to find affordable housing if landlords do not have the confidence that they will get their properties back swiftly in legitimate circumstances.”
For further landlord advice and guidance on the COVID-19 situation, you can visit the dedicated NRLA advice page here.
If you are facing financial difficulty during this pandemic, you may well have already taken a Mortgage Payment Holiday. Find out how this might affect future property investment applications here, and if there are alternative options available for you. And of course, you can always contact our expert consultants for property finance advice on 0345 345 6788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.