Landlords could face up to five months without rent amid the coronavirus outbreak, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has claimed.
This is a result of the government’s decision to extend the ban on evictions for a further two months. The measure has already been in place since March.
This means that there will be a ban on evictions in place for five months in total.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “This decision means that some landlords will now be facing five months without receiving any rent.
“It will ultimately be tenants who suffer as they will find it increasingly difficult to find affordable housing if landlords do not have the confidence that they will get their properties back swiftly in legitimate circumstances,” he added.
Despite the extension to the evictions ban, the association insisted that there is ‘no eviction crisis’ looming for tenants – and that tenants and landlords are working together to avoid repossessions.
Indeed, most tenants have been able to pay their rent as usual during the coronavirus pandemic, the association suggested.
The NRLA commissioned a survey of more than 2,000 tenants across England and Wales.
90 per cent of tenants said that they had paid their rent as usual since the coronavirus crisis began.
The majority of tenants – at 84 per cent – hadn’t needed to ask their landlord for any support. Of those that did ask, three quarters received a positive response.
The NRLA is working with the government on a protocol to make sure that landlords and tenants do everything they can to reach an agreement on rent arrears before any repossessions take place.
And it says that once the ban on evictions is lifted, priority needs to be given to cases involving debt prior to the lockdown.
Mr Beadle added: “This survey reflects what we know from our members, which is that nearly all are seeking to support tenants to stay in their homes.
“Given that some 30 per cent of landlords have reported facing some level of financial hardship, they will do all they can to sustain tenancies.”
The association also wants to see a hardship loan scheme for tenants where existing housing support payments are insufficient to meet their costs during the crisis, but who expect their finances to recover in the short to medium term.
The loans would be paid directly to the landlord and could be repaid by the tenant in a fixed number of years.
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