The government has been slammed for its 11th-hour U-turn after extending the eviction ban for four weeks and instructing landlords to give the majority of tenants six months’ notice.
The move is designed to protect vulnerable renters adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis from a winter eviction.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said that the aim is to prevent a potential wave of evictions around Christmas, leading to a possible “homelessness crisis”.
But while many tenants are struggling, so are landlords, and the government appears to be ignoring that fact.
Renters have been protected during the Covid-19 crisis by an eviction ban introduced in March and extended in June, which was due to end in England and Wales yesterday, but very little has been done to help BTL landlords facing financial hardship. .
Ben Beadle, CEO of the National Residential Landlords Association, commented: “A blanket extension is unacceptable, especially so close to the deadline.
“An enormous amount of work as gone into finding a balance between supporting tenants who have been affected by the pandemic and preventing significant financial harm to landlords, in accordance with the government’s promise. This announcement satisfies no-one.
“Landlords have been left powerless in exercising their legal right to deal with significant arrears unrelated to Covid-19, antisocial behaviour and extremely disruptive tenants who make life miserable for their neighbours and housemates.
“Private landlords cannot be expected to foot the bill for government failure. There must now be a plan to support households to pay their bills and to compensate landlords fully for their lost income.
“Only this will give both tenants and landlords security and reduce the risk of widespread tenancy failure.”