Evictions – An important update for landlords

On Friday it was announced by the Government there is now an extension to the ban on landlords evicting tenants in England and Wales.

The new ruling means landlords will have to legally wait until 20 September to begin proceedings using the eviction process and will now have to give tenants six months’ notice of eviction. Before the pandemic struck it was usually two months.

It was a last-minute measure by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government as the original deadline for evictions to begin was today, Monday 24 August.

The original regulations were put into place back in March shortly after the Covid-19 lockdown began. It was a move to protect genuine cases of tenants struggling to pay their rent due to the outbreak.

Speaking to the BBC on Friday, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, said: “I know this year has been challenging, and all of us are still living with the effects of Covid-19. That is why I am announcing a further four-week ban on evictions, meaning no renters will have been evicted for six months.

“I am also increasing protections for renters – six-month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter.

“However, it is right that the most egregious cases, for example, those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, begin to be heard in court again. So, when courts reopen, landlords will once again be able to progress these priority cases.”

The final part of his statement was notable for landlords already under pressure. It means the prioritisation of the most serious cases, including those landlords who have not received rent for over a year.

At Duncan Yeardley we believe and advise our landlords that taking eviction action is a last resort. Over the past five months, we’ve been focussing on proven techniques to reduce the risk of landlords and tenants having to go through the stress, cost and anxiety of the eviction process.

We have been:

  • Keeping in regular contact with tenants to spot and help if possible, with any affordability issues.
  • Helping our landlords understand any rent insurance policies they have in place.
  • Talking with tenants about their legal responsibilities, which have remained the same during the lockdown and beyond.
  • Working with landlords and tenants to come up with acceptable payment plans if necessary.

There’s much more we’ve been doing behind the scenes as we work hard to avoid the worst-case scenario, to ensure we are fully prepared if it does get to that point.

If you are a landlord and have questions around what the eviction ban extension means to you, please contact us and one of our lettings’ experts will be on hand to help.

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