With the end of the eviction ban, what now for landlords and tenants?
Eviction cases in England and Wales resumed for the first time in 6 months from the 20th September 2020. With the winter months approaching, this could prove to be difficult times for tenants who have fallen into serious arrears. It’s inevitable that there will be an increase in homelessness as possession cases get dealt with.
What protections are in place for renters?
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said “To help keep people in their homes over the winter months, we’ve changed the law to increase notice periods to six months and introduced a ‘winter truce’ on the enforcement of evictions for the first time.”
The Government announced 6-month notice periods which have been put into place until at least 31st March 2021. However, this extra protection is reduced in cases of over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears where the notice period is 4 weeks.
The ‘winter truce’ means that bailiffs have been told that they cannot evict people over Christmas.
There have been some concerns expressed over this as the longer a tenant in increasing arrears remains in a property, the more arrears they are likely to owe to their landlords. On the other hand, vulnerable tenants could be left homeless.
The Labour Party have argued that the ban on evictions must not end until ministers had a “credible plan” to ensure renters do not lose their homes due to coronavirus.
The issue of rent arrears in the middle of a pandemic is a hugely complex issue with no easy answer. Tenants who have gotten into arrears are often struggling to find a way out of the financial hole they are in but the problems with the economy may now be reducing the options open to them. Many landlords are desperate to find solutions, so that their escalating financial losses are capped.
But we know that it is always worth the parties talking to each other to see if there are any other ways in which the arrears can be addressed, stabilised or reduced. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a third party can help to facilitate an agreement between parties. Involving a third party in this way can help both parties reach a suitable agreement by helping to resolve issues effectively.
TDS Resolution is an independent body offering a low-cost mediation style service where landlords and tenants are encouraged to agree a suitable rent arrears repayment plan. We’re here to help.
To find out more please visit www.tdsresolution.com or get started now using our interactive form below.