Tenants and Landlords Feel the Strain of Eviction Rules

Author: Rent Guarantor

22/06/2020

Following the UK government's decision to extend the no eviction ban by two months to the end of August 2020 to help tenants cope with a longer lockdown and slow recovery, it’s clear that both tenants and landlord are feeling the strain of the situation. Separate reports highlight that while searches for 'can my landlord evict me' have risen by over 50%, industry body the National Residential Landlords Agency (NRLA) is encouraging its members to write to the government to highlight the 'devastating consequences' some will will face as the result of the extended eviction ban. 

Uncertainty over the re-opening of the economy, job security and earnings are all issues for both tenants and landlords. That means that although landlords are unable to begin eviction processes where tenants aren’t paying rent until the end of August, both parties remain concerned over paying rent, the income that generates and what their rights are.

Tenants worrying more about eviction

Recent research shows that online searches about eviction increased in April. Specifically, the search for “can my landlord evict me” was made 52% time more in April than in February 2020, according to research by Boiler Plan.

The boiler payment plan service found that other popular online search terms in May were:

  • Can landlords increase the rent?
  • What are my responsibilities as a tenant?
  • Can letting agents charge fees?
  • Can landlords keep deposits?

As you can see, they largely centre around costs, suggesting that money worries have increased for many of the UK’s residential renters. 

While the extension of the eviction ban might help ease some worries, where a tenant has lost their job or had a significant reduction in their working hours and income, the uncertainty of when that will improve is also likely to weigh. That suggests that online searches on the above terms will remain popular until the future of the coronavirus spread and vaccine becomes known, along with the pandemic’s continued effects on the economy and jobs market.

Landlords under pressure too 

While tenants across the UK are undoubtedly feeling the pressure of Covid-19 and its effect on the economy, the situation is also impacting landlords. Research repeatedly highlights that the majority of landlords are supporting tenants where ever and however they can. However, where rent isn’t being paid at all, or a reduced rate over a set period has been agreed, some landlords are still struggling and this could have a long-term impact on their ability to remain in the private rental sector.

With that in mind, the NRLA has urged its members who are struggling with the extended no evictions process period, to write to their MPs and explain exactly what the effects of this policy will be on them.

“It’s essential landlords’ voices are heard as the process for possessions is agreed. Tenants affected by coronavirus need to be supported, but it is equally important that landlords are able to regain possession in legitimate circumstances – for example antisocial behaviour,” said NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.

“The government also needs to recognise the financial impact on individual landlords of significant rent arrears pre-dating the coronavirus measures – and of a further five months without payment. We are encouraging members to write to their MP – sharing personal experiences carry a lot of weight,” Beadle adds.

The government is clearly making an effort to support all parts of society during this worrying period of uncertainty. However, it’s essential to be mindful that another element of an industry isn’t damaged due to the support shown to the other.