Abbey Independent Inventories

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Government accused of kicking can down the road on evictions

Landlord and property groups are unimpressed with the government’s latest extension of the tenant evictions ban.
The government was accused of delaying the inevitable, while there was frustration at how the ban was extended at the 11th hour.
The ban was due to expire at the end of this week but has been extended by four additional weeks.
Oli Sherlock, head of insurance at lettings platform Goodlord, said: “Extending the evictions ban to 20th September is simply kicking the can down the road. It’s helpful for neither tenants nor landlords.
“Arbitrary extensions simply delay the issue instead of addressing it and this announcement doesn’t seem to have come with a strategy attached.
“There are tenants who will have arrears building up – leaving them with huge amounts of personal debt for every month they are unable to pay their rent.
“At the same, landlords are becoming increasingly anxious about meeting their mortgage commitments or accessing what is often their only source of income.
“Both groups need more support. If we don’t use this extension wisely to come up with a better, more robust plan, we’re just compounding the issue.”
Paul Shamplina, founder of debt recovery service Landlord Action, said: “This is absolutely devastating news for those landlords who already had possession cases ongoing prior to the pandemic. It means those landlords with problem tenants who have been causing anti-social behaviour or withholding rent for reasons unrelated to Covid-19 face a further delay in regaining possession of the properties.
“Whilst no-one who has been impacted by Covid-19 should face losing their home, there are many cases that are unrelated and it is causing landlords extreme hardship and misery.
“Landlord Action is working with landlords whose tenants have racked up thousands of pounds worth of arrears. Many of these landlords have been having to cover two mortgages for more than nine months now and we have just finished issuing the re-activation notices on behalf of these landlords as directed by the Government!
“Why have they left until the Friday before the courts re-open to give a further extension? I do not believe enough consideration has been given to people in these set of circumstances and perhaps rather than a blanket ban, existing cases should have been allowed to restart as planned.
“In my view, the government needs to seriously consider offering landlords, whose tenants have fallen into arrears relating to Covid-19 and can prove loss of employment, some financial support, for example three months of rent contribution.”
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Sunday, 05 February 2023