It is vital landlords remain up to date with regulations, especially during these difficult times. One announcement that landlords must be aware of is that the ban on tenant evictions has been extended until autumn.

The announcement made by the Government creates a four-week extension, and the ban is now not scheduled to be lifted until 20th of September. At Andrew Lees, we are here to help you if you are looking for guidance on this matter or any letting industry matter.

Some landlords are sure to feel frustrated as this extension means it will take longer for landlords to initiate court proceedings. This applies in examples where tenants have failed to pay their rent.

This latest extension means the bill have been in place for more than six months.

The ban has been extended over the summer

The ban was previously supped to have been lifted on the 23rd of August. The ban was initially a three-month ban, and then in June of this year, an additional two months was added to the ban. The band was introduced by the Government on 26th March, at the start of the lockdown period.

The emergency legislation was introduced to prevent tenants from being forcibly evicted during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

It should be noted landlords can serve a notice of eviction, although these tenants cannot be legally evicted. These eviction notices are served with a six-month notice period. The housing secretary Robert Jenrick MP said; “Six-month notice periods must be given to tenants, supporting renters over winter.”

However, in reality, a backlog of court cases suggests it will take longer for proceedings to reach court, and for landlords to gain possession of their rental property. This means many landlords face a number of months without generating rental income. With a lot of landlords reliant on rental income, this poses a challenge for the sector.

Timothy Douglas, of ARLA Propertymark said; “Now that the ban on evictions has been extended, the Government must use this time to introduce further guidance and prepare the sector. It is important to take steps back towards normality so that both landlords and tenants have access to the justice system, while putting measures in place to offer further support to tenants who have built up Covid-related arrears, and this four week extension will give Government the time to introduce such measures.”

Timothy also said; “Additionally, given the backlog of cases already facing courts, it’s key that the Government introduces sufficient guidance during this period to enable eviction proceedings to begin again smoothly and fairly when the ban is lifted.”

Landlords are calling for financial support for tenants

The NRLA has called on the Government to create a financial package that supports tenants who have developed rent arrears. The impact of COVID-19 is likely to leave many tenants struggling to manage their rental fees.

It should be noted that a package of this nature has already been created in Wales, which means there is growing demand for a similar package to be implemented in England.

There is also encouragement for landlords and tenants to work together during this trying time. It is best for both parties to work together, but in a situation like this, it is even more important.

David Smith is a partner at JMW Solicitors, and he said; “In my experience landlords will always try to work with tenants to avoid evictions as it is costly, there is no evidence that this will be any different now.”

As an experienced letting agent serving the Bridgwater community, and many of the surrounding areas, we are here to help. We promise to stay in touch with the latest technology, helping our clients to achieve more, and we aim to support the local community as best we can. If there is anything, we can assist you with; please contact Andrew Lees Lettings today.