The industry’s major landlord trade body is urging its members to write to MPs to explains what it calls “the devastating consequences” some will suffer because of the extension of the eviction ban.
Earlier this month the government announced the ban would be extended for another two months, until late August, and now the National Residential Landlords Association wants any of its members put in difficult circumstances by the move to share their experience with Parliamentarians.
The NRLA points out that some landlords who had significant rent arrears before the Coronavirus lockdown face the possibility of five more months without rent if their tenants fail to pay in the knowledge that eviction cannot happen.
A standard letter drawn up by the NRLA calls for:
– a clear statement from the Government reiterating that those who can pay their rent should do so;
– support for tenants most in need to pay their rents by boosting the Local Housing Allowance, developing interest free hardship loans for tenants;
– providing compensation to landlords who have existing possession orders from the courts but cannot execute them, and have therefore will have missed five months’ of rent payments as a result of government actions;
– prioritising possession cases that began before the lockdown but were then paused, those related to rent arrears built before the lockdown, and cases of tenants committing anti-social behaviour or domestic violence;
– clear plans to ensure courts process legitimate possession claims more swiftly once they do reopen.
NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle says: “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.
“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.
“I would encourage members to include details about how they and their tenants have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and any actions they have taken to support those living in their rental homes.”
You can find more details of the standard letter here.
This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.