Confidence among landlords has crashed to an all-time low after a tweet by Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, confirmed that the government is to extend the ban on evictions by a further two months.
Jenrick's tweet read: "We are suspending evictions from social and private rented accommodation by a further two months. Eviction hearings will not be heard in courts until the end of August and no one will be evicted from their home this summer due to Coronavirus.”
The National Residential Landlords Association were quick to highlight that members are already working with tenants who are facing difficulty.
Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive, had this to say:: “This decision means that some landlords will now be facing five months without receiving any rent as they can take no action against tenants who were not paying before the lockdown started.
“It also means more misery for tenants and neighbours suffering at the hands of anti-social tenants and will also cause exceptional hardship for a number of landlords, including many who depend on their rental income to live, for which there is no assistance.
“We have every sympathy with tenants who face genuine difficulties because of a loss of income due to the coronavirus crisis and as our survey out tomorrow shows, nearly all landlords are working with tenants who are struggling to keep them in their home.
“It is important that the government sets out its plans for the market at the end of this one-time extension. A failure to do so will cause serious damage to the private rented sector as a whole.
“It will ultimately be tenants who suffer as they will find it increasingly difficult to find affordable housing if landlords do not have the confidence that they will get their properties back swiftly in legitimate circumstances.”
Mary-Anne Bowring, founder of lettings platform, PlanetRent, added: “With all of the uncertainty going on at the moment, tenants deserve to be protected by the Government from evictions that could be through no fault of their own, and could well be down to financial hardship brought on by being furloughed or losing their job altogether, but this needs to be balanced by proving that their income has gone down.
“The worry is that many landlords are retired, according to the English Private Landlord Survey as many as 33% are.
“These landlords may well not have a mortgage to claim a repayment holiday on, rely on property income and without rent or furlough monies may struggle to survive.”
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