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Industry reacts to eviction ban U-turn

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Landlord bodies have criticised the government’s decision, at short notice, to extend the ban on evictions for a further four weeks. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has also instructed landlords to give tenants six months’ notice of eviction to prevent a possible homelessness crisis over Christmas.

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Reacting to the move, groups have called on the government to do more to support landlords facing financial hardship. Ben Beadle, CEO of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “Private landlords cannot be expected to foot the bill for government failure. There must now be a plan to support households to pay their bills and to compensate landlords fully for their lost income. Only this will give both tenants and landlords security and reduce the risk of widespread tenancy failure.”

While delaying the end of the eviction ban for most tenants, the government has announced that the courts will begin hearing cases involving anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse once they reopen.

But according to Mr Beadle: “Landlords have been left powerless in exercising their legal right to deal with significant arrears unrelated to Covid-19, anti-social behaviour and extremely disruptive tenants who make life miserable for their neighbours and housemates.”

Timothy Douglas, Policy and Campaigns Manager, ARLA Propertymark said: “Given the backlog of cases already facing courts, it’s key that the government introduces sufficient guidance during this period to enable eviction proceedings to begin again smoothly and fairly when the ban is lifted.”

The extension will end on 20 September. Landlords are advised to continue to work with tenants, who are struggling as a result of the pandemic, and look at flexible payment plans to avoid evictions where possible.

Read more about this story on the Landlord Today and ARLA Propertymark websites.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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