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Landlords and the COVID-19 pandemic

It is now a year since the first regulations came into effect restricting repossessions in the private rented sector in England in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since then, many restrictions remain in place, including:

  • The notice period for landlords to regain possession of a property is six months in all but the most serious of circumstances. These measures are set to remain in place until 31st May 2021.
  • Most writs and warrants of possession granted by the courts cannot be enforced apart from the most severe cases such as those where tenants have committed anti-social behaviour, have obtained a tenancy by providing fraudulent information or have built six months or more of rent arrears.
  • Court rules introduced in September 2020 are also limiting the number of possession cases being heard.

An analysis of research for the NRLA suggests that 840,000 private renters in England and Wales could have built rent arrears since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March.

The NRLA commissioned a survey late last year where they questioned 2,077 private tenants in England and Wales concerning the impact of COVID-19.

The findings were hardly surprising if you are a landlord. 7% had built arrears due to COVID. Applied across the sector that would amount to 840,000 tenants. 18% of those in arrears had rent debts of more than £1,000. 11% of private renters are now unemployed. Younger people are most likely to have been affected with 14% of renters aged 18 to 24 and 10% of those aged 25 to 34 having built arrears since March. 60% had lost rental income as a result of the pandemic. 14% of all respondents said they had lost more than 20% of their rental income. 39% of those who had lost rental income, said the losses were continuing to increase. 65% said that the pandemic was likely to have a negative impact on their lettings business. 34% said they were more likely either to leave the market entirely or sell some of the properties they rent out.

The vast majority of landlords are not millionaire property tycoons in fact 94% rent property out as an individual, 45% rent out just one property and 44% became a landlord to contribute to their pension.

If you are in this position and have lost the appetite to rent your property out then contact us for a solution.