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Landlords and letting agents impacted by ban on evictions

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The ban on evictions has protected many tenants, but landlords are struggling with no rent coming in
Landlords and letting agents impacted by ban on evictions

It’s unsustainable to keep using landlords to support non-paying tenants, according to Housing Hand.

The rental guarantor service said that the government’s Eviction Ban is ‘well intended, but it fails to protect increasingly desperate landlords and letting agents’.

The legislation has been designed to protect tenants who have suffered financial loss as a result of the Covid pandemic. But one consequence is that it results in an increasingly difficult situation for many landlords. Some are facing not just losing their investment properties but their homes as well.

Jeremy Robinson, group managing director of Housing Hand, said: “The intentions of the eviction ban to protect individual tenants are excellent, but the situation unfortunately doesn’t take all those involved in the rental transaction into account. The financial impact of tenants who can’t afford to pay on landlords is devastating.”

Clock is ticking

According to research by LSE London and Trust for London, the number of private tenants in rent arrears in England could treble in the coming year.

That could mean as many as 700,000 tenants – and their landlords – in financial difficulty.

Housing Hand points out that letting agents, too, are suffering, citing reports that around 4% of all letting agencies closed their doors for good last year.

The eviction ban is currently due to run until 21 February but could be extended in line with continuing lockdown restrictions.

This could mean that landlords and letting agents could face further weeks or even months of financial struggle. For those with mortgage payments to cover, the situation is increasingly unsustainable.

Terry Mason, group operations director at Housing Hand, said: “The government must stop using private landlords to house tenants who are unable or unwilling to pay their rent. These are difficult times for all concerned and a new solution is needed – one that supports all those involved in the rental sector.”

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