The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has issued a fresh plea for government help following the lifting on the ban on evicting tenants.
A major consequence of the pandemic has been the problems many have had paying their rent, either as a consequence of unemployment or under-employment resulting in reduced incomes. This in turn has meant many landlords have suffered a major drop in revenues and financial problems of their own.
The lifting of the ban on May 31st means landlords can now evict tenants, but many will be reluctant to do so for fear of not being able to replace them, as well as sympathy for the genuine plight of many renters.
Instead, the NRLA has reiterated its desire to see a financial package put in place to help support both tenants and landlords.
A key issue is the potential knock-on effects for tenants who have been evicted through non-payment, which have been highlighted by research carried out for the NRLA by Dynata.
A key issue is the misconception that tenants who are told to leave a rented property can simply move into another, when in fact failure to maintain payments will damage their credit scoring. This means letting agents in Hornchurch will often be fielding applications from would-be tenants whose credit files will raise red flags.
The research showed that around seven per cent of tenants had built up arrears since the first lockdown started in March 2020, with landlords taking court action to recover debt in around a quarter of cases.
According to Dynata, the average level of arrears per renter is £900. For landlords with a lot of tenants, that sort of figure repeated multiple times could be a major problem.
The lifting of the eviction ban has caused concern among a number of organisations. The Joseph Rowntree Fund recently warned that as many as 400,000 renters could be at risk of eviction and warned of a “two tier recovery” from the pandemic.
Like the NRA, it called for extra financial support to help renters in arrears clear their debts.