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Landlords “doing all they can” for tenants affected by Covid

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Claims that the end of the evictions ban, on 23 August, will mean a big increase in tenants losing their homes have been disputed by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA).

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The housing charity Shelter has published research, which suggests that almost a third of renters are depressed or anxious about their housing situation – with 226,785 people at risk of losing their homes. Shelter’s chief executive, Polly Neate called for court powers, “to ensure that no renter is automatically evicted, and the impact of coronavirus is always considered”.

But according to the NRLA, the Shelter report does not recognise that most landlords are doing all they can to maintain their existing tenancies.

An NRLA survey of 2,000 tenants in England and Wales found that most (84%) had paid their rent as usual during the crisis and had not needed to ask their landlord for any support. Of the remainder, three quarters received a positive response from their landlord.

Chris Norris, policy director for the NRLA, said: “Throughout the lockdown, our surveys show that the vast majority of landlords have been doing all they can to keep people in their homes.

“It is important though to distinguish between tenants affected by covid-19 and those who were building rent arrears before lockdown, sometimes for several months and sometimes wilfully.

“When the courts re-start hearing possession cases the latter should be the priority along with instances where tenants are committing anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse.”

Mr Norris added that the NRLA and other housing organisations have been supporting landlords and tenants struggling as a result of the crisis. This includes practical guidance for addressing arrears – such as by raising concerns at an early stage and putting in place rent deferrals, reductions and suspensions.

Read more about this story on the Landlord Today website.

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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