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More than four in 10 landlords disagree with eviction ban extension

LaToya Harding
·2-min read
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Monday should have marked the end of the eviction ban timeline but the Ministry of Housing said no evictions should take place in England until 8 March at the earliest. Photo: Getty

Some 43% of UK landlords believe that the housing eviction ban should not have been extended, while 76% of tenants welcomed the move, new research has shown.

The UK government recently extended a ban on serving eviction notices across the country, meaning that bailiffs could not evict tenants for another six weeks.

Monday should have marked the end of the eviction ban timeline but the Ministry of Housing said no evictions should take place in England until 8 March at the earliest, while Wales and Scotland extended their bans until at least 31 March.

The ban is only on physically evicting a tenant from a property, meaning that landlords cannot start court proceedings against the tenant. The ban is not on serving section 21 and section 21 notices, which is still permitted.

Research from lettings and estate agent Barrows and Forrester further revealed that 46% of UK tenants admitted that they have not seen their financial situation worsen as a result of the pandemic.

However, in Northern Ireland, 67% of tenants stated they are worse off as a result of the health crisis, with tenants in the West Midlands (50%), East Midlands (48%) and Greater London (47%) also struggling more than most.

Just 18% of tenants said they had struggled or failed to pay the rent during the pandemic, although this increases to 28% of tenants in Wales, 27% in Northern Ireland and 21% in Scotland and the West Midlands.

In addition, just 23% of landlords surveyed stated that they have seen their level of rental income reduce due to the pandemic, with just 12% of landlords saying that they had been unable to evict a tenant during the pandemic.

READ MORE: UK hospitality businesses welcome evictions ban over rental debt

Barrows and Forrester surveyed 1,144 current UK tenants and 992 current UK landlords on their thoughts regarding the ban and its extension.

James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, said: “The ban on tenant evictions is a delicate subject and both sides of the argument have valid reasons for wanting to see the ban either extended or lifted.

“There are also those that are using the current eviction ban as an excuse to avoid paying rent and while this is a very small proportion of tenants, it still poses a serious headache for landlords. Thankfully the government has now allowed landlords to include any unpaid rent accrued since the start of the pandemic to be included within the six month time frame at which point they can start eviction proceedings.

“Landlords are the backbone of the rental market and all things considered, much more needs to be done to support them during this tough period.”

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