Eviction ban “more balanced” than past examples
Just after we started 2021, Housing Secretary – Robert Jenrick – announced an extension on the ban preventing tenants from being evicted.
This meant that – apart from the most serious of cases – no evictions would be carried out until at least 21st February.
With the recent news that the ban will once again be extended, pushing bailiff-enforced evictions in the private rental sector back to March 31st, what does this mean for landlords and tenants?
The point of the extension is to ensure tenants are protected during these hard times, whilst what we have seen for landlords over the last few weeks is that the most recent extension has looked to be "more balanced".
Comparing how the ban has evolved
In the previous bans, the substantial rent arrears exemption only applied when there were nine months of arrears before 23rd March 2020.
Many landlords have been suffering severe hardship by rent arrear levels significantly below that figure, which prompted a change to the arrears threshold to six months, making it more balanced for landlords and tenants.
Jenrick has since added that the aim is to strike a fair balance between "protecting tenants and enabling landlords to exercise their rights to justice".
How are evictions able to take place in the most serious cases?
Bailiffs that are enforcing the few evictions permitted to be carried out are being told to take caution and proceed in accordance with the regulations – if they can do so safely.
There is also a question mark over how a bailiff should deal with a situation where a tenant is self-isolating.
The presumption from many bailiffs is that the eviction could not be carried out for their own safety.
What can you do as a landlord?
Landlords are going to have to find ways to manage these sensitive situations in the best way possible.
The most important thing is communication.
If your tenant is saying they can’t pay their rent, it is ok to ask them for evidence to show there has been a change in circumstance, e.g. a letter to say the tenant has been furloughed or has been made unemployed due to the pandemic.
If you have any concerns about your living situation or property investments, we urge you to speak with our team today for more information.
This article was originally published by BriefYourMarket and is reproduced here with their permission.
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