The tenant eviction ban has been in force over the past five months to protect tenants from being evicted by their landlords throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Many individuals are facing financial hardship and struggling to keep up with rental payments due to job losses and a reduction in salary due to being furloughed. Before the ban, many tenants were at risk of eviction from their homes and the government has sought to protect tenants with this initiative. The English government has also announced that landlords will need to give tenants six months notice of eviction until the end of March 2021. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said this is to help protect tenants through the winter months but will keep these measures under review.
Yet, where there are cases of anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse, this will not apply. Once courts open, they will then priortise those cases and where landlords have not received rent for over a year.
Our advice to tenants
- If you are having difficulty paying your rent, speak to your landlord asap and try to come to some arrangement. At least let them know the situation so they can be clear and understand what you’re going through.
- If you’re receiving housing benefit or Universal credit currently and unable to be furloughed, you may be able to get a discretionary housing payment from the council.
What this means for landlords
Although the eviction ban supports tenants, it has left numerous landlords without rental income. Some landlords have said this “blanket approach” is unacceptable. Each landlord is different and in different circumstances. Some landlords may be renters themselves and rely on renting their property out to cover the mortgage for the property they currently live in. Some landlords rely on this income for their pension and financial stability. Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association said, “Private landlords cannot be expected to foot the bill for government failure.”
Landlords also need to be given some way to have their income protected if tenants can’t pay their rent. Yet currently, there is no government support available. In some cases, landlords are able to have buy to let mortgage payment breaks but this can impact on landlords looking to get buy to let mortgages further down the line.
Although the current situation we’re facing is no fault of the nation’s tenants, it is simply unfair to expect landlords as the backbone of the rental market to foot the bill for unpaid rent. Not only has the ban been extended but landlords must now face an increased eviction notice period before they can even commence court proceedings.
With such an unprecedented backlog, there will no doubt be sizable delays that could see landlords face an even longer wait before they can reclaim their bricks and mortar investment. As a result, some could be facing in excess of a year without any rental income.
The Government is yet to provide any form of help other than the rather pitiful buy-to-let mortgage holiday which, in some cases, can impact a landlord’s financial credentials further down the line.
How Howsy can help protect landlords
- Our Howsy Protect plan is a protection plan that can be taken alongside one of Howsy’s property management plans. It fully guarantees your rental income, so you can receive your rental money on time, every month. Check out more here.
- Speak to one of the Howsy team, give us a call on 0330 999 1234 or email us and we can begin the process of getting your rent protected. Even if you’re with a letting agent currently, we can help you switch over.