BREAKING: Government confirms evictions ban WILL end on 23rd August
As you may be aware the UK Lockdown has affected a number of different businesses, the public, and landlords.
The government has confirmed that the evictions ban is to end on the 23rd August and that the courts will re-open for possession hearings the next day, Monday 24th August. This confirmation was made by Lord Greenhalgh however, the UK’s leading letting agents’ industry body has written to the Department of Justice to express its worries over the huge backlog of possession cases built up since the evictions ban began, which its figures suggest have cost landlords a massive £530 million in lost rent so far.
ARLA Propertymark, which represents 9,500 UK lettings agencies, is also worried that the government doesn’t have a ‘robust’ plan. It says 62,000 ‘business as usual’ evictions have been backed up as landlords wait for the court system to reopen for possession hearings, and that’s assuming evictions haven’t increased during the COVID pandemic.
ARLA is calling on the Secretary of State for Justice, Robert Buckland, to develop a ‘robust and co-ordinated strategy as a matter of urgency’ in response to the backlog, highlighting letting agents’ and landlords’ worries that the judiciary hasn’t grasped the enormity of the post-evictions ban deluge facing the court system.
The association says its estimate is based on the government’s own mortgage and landlord statistics for 2019. It also says that calculations show that, on average, landlords who issued a claim on the day the evictions started to face a loss in rental income of £8,549 or in total £530 million.
“Every week a landlord must wait to regain possession of their property is a week of lost income; particularly affecting private landlords and agents who may be relying on rental income to pay their own mortgages and bills,” says David Cox, the Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark.
“Within the backlog of possession claims accumulating during the stay on proceedings, private landlords would have needed to wait for possession to be achieved by using a bailiff on over 3,300 occasions.”
And Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, also said:
“The Minister’s comments provide greater certainty for the rental market, we continue to work hard with landlords and tenants to sustain tenancies wherever possible. In the vast majority of cases, this is happening. It is vital however that swift action can be taken against those tenants committing anti-social behaviour or domestic violence. We are calling also for priority to be given to cases where possession orders were granted prior to lockdown or where rent arrears have nothing to do with the COVID pandemic.”
We are looking forward to seeing what plan of action will be put in place for landlords and agencies with outstanding evictions, money claims, and with any new eviction applications which they may have.
At Kilnstone Property we are now advising all landlords to obtain legal, and rental cover, which will allow their costs to be covered for any future issue which may occur as we are aware of how difficult landlords are finding paying for court fees as well as being out-off pocket with their rental. You can contact us today on 01293 278312 for more information.