Neil Cobbold, Chief Sales Officer at PayProp, gives his view on the eviction ban extension and what this means for landlords and tenants alike.
It comes as no surprise to see the evictions ban in England and Wales extended, following news of an extension in Scotland earlier this month.
An extension to the evictions ban does little to change the current situation, with existing rules stating that no enforcement action can take place in England until January 25.
Although the ban will be reviewed in late February, it could well be extended further - particularly if the tightest COVID-19 restrictions are still in place.
A further ban on evictions prevents landlords from removing tenants during a challenging period – and landlords with tenants in serious arrears will be disappointed to see their repossession options limited again with little to no financial support to cover their lost income.
However, eviction action is only being deferred. As well as antisocial behaviour or domestic violence, landlords can now seek eviction when arrears total more than six months’ rent – an amount that now includes arrears that have built up since the beginning of the first lockdown.
Letting agencies can help landlords navigate the latest evictions ban by making them aware of the new rules, helping them to organise affordable repayment plans and keeping a digital record of all payments to assist with future eviction cases and providing them with access to a dedicated evictions specialist as a last resort for when the ban is lifted.