New research pours cold water on claims by anti-agency campaigners that there will be a glut of evictions when the ban ends later this month.
In a survey of 106 letting agencies in England by accreditation body safeagent, 36 per cent say they do not believe any of their tenants will be evicted when the ban ends.
A further 57 per cent say there may be evictions but this would involve fewer than 10 per cent of their tenants.
And when asked what the reason was behind those possible evictions, the agents say they are because of longer standing arrears rather than rent not paid during the pandemic.
In terms of arrears, 74 per cent of respondents say the proportion of their tenants who have not been able to pay their rent over the past three months was under 10 per cent. One in 10 agents say it was between 10 and 20 per cent of tenants.
For those who are in arrears, the majority of tenants were behind only one or two months while just five per cent of firms say tenants had arrears of over three months.
Self-employment, furloughing and delays in Universal Credit were blamed by most of those tenants in arrears.
In order to help maintain more tenancies and support both tenants and landlords, safeagent wants landlords to receive immediate direct payments when tenants move on to Universal Credit – rather than having to wait for two months arrears to occur.
“These results show that the rhetoric emanating from lobbying groups around arrears and the likely number of tenants to be evicted as a result of their inability to pay rent, does not give the full picture” says Isobel Thomson, safeagent chief executive.
“safeagent is concerned about the rhetoric around evictions which does tenants no favours and only raises their levels of anxiety at an already difficult time. Instead of demanding a halt to all evictions, shouldn’t we all be working together to find solutions that support tenants to stay in their homes?”
This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.