Earlier this week, the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick tweeted: “We are suspending evictions from social and private rented accommodation by a further two months. Eviction hearings will not be heard in courts until the end of August and no one will be evicted from their home this summer due to Coronavirus.”
This was then shortly followed up by the National Residential Landlords Association by the chief executive writing:
“This decision means that some landlords will now be facing five months without receiving any rent as they can take no action against tenants who were not paying before the lockdown started.”
The original measures of the extension were due to end after three months on the 25th of June 2020, however this has now been extended until the 23rd of August 2020, meaning families who faced evictions due to job loss because of Coronavirus, now have another two months with the plan. Yet the chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate notes “The ban hasn’t stopped people who’ve lost their jobs during this pandemic from racking up rent arrears. Even if they have a plan to pay them back, these debts will throw struggling renters straight back into the firing line of an automatic eviction as soon as the ban does lift.”
It has been suggested that there are already hundreds of thousands that were facing court action at the end of the month before the ban was extended. Although the Government have suggested that they want Landlords to “exhaust all possible options” before court hearings.
This then could create further implications in the future as there is fear of a spike of homelessness following the lifting of the ban. The chief executive of Citizens Advice, Dame Gillian Guy stated “Simply extending the pause of repossession is a sticking plaster not a cure. People who have fallen behind on rent arrears and those who have been furloughed or lost their jobs will need the security of proper reform to the rules governing evictions.”
However, this provides further uncertainty for Landlords if their income relies solely on their rental properties. Ben Beadle further added “It also means more misery for tenants and neighbours suffering at the hands of anti-social tenants and will also cause exceptional hardship for a number of landlords, including many who depend on their rental income to live, for which there is no assistance.”
This has created further uncertainty to the rental market as it is clear the economic effects from coronavirus are negative, but the extent is yet unknown.