The recent rules around tenant evictions have chopped and changed a lot lately, in line with the uncertainty brought about by Covid-19. The eviction ban ruling was extended to a ‘6 months’ notice period’ last December, and aimed to help tenants in keeping roofs over their heads.
In light of the UK having seen increasing numbers in job losses, reduced pay, and high uptake of the furlough scheme, many tenants were in a sticky predicament when it came to paying the rent.
What’s more, is that the national average rental comes in at £965/month, so this legislation was very much welcomed by tenants, especially over the harsh winter months.
While this support has helped many tenants during the Covid-economic crisis, we must acknowledge that this has been an extremely difficult time for many landlords too. But with the rules soon set to change, this will see an end to the eviction ban, and landlords and tenants alike, must ensure they take note of the changes affecting them.
What are the current rules?
The term ‘substantial rent arrears’ is currently defined as being ‘6 months’ worth of rent arrears or more, outstanding on the date the order for possession was granted’.
There is no requirement for the 6 months’ worth of rent arrears to have been outstanding at the date on which the possession order was made, nor for the rent arrears to have accrued before 23 March.
What are the new rules?
As of 1 June, the term ‘substantial rent arrears’ will be, defined as ‘4 months’ worth of rent arrears or more, outstanding on the date the order for possession was granted’.
The exceptions under which a notice period will not be applicable are the same as before.
In cases where there is four or more months’ unpaid rent, the notice period will reduce back to the original two months’ notice from 1 August.
It really is worth keeping your finger on the pulse with this legislation, as it is predicted to see many changes in the forthcoming months.
What does the future look like for tenants?
One of the biggest concerns among tenants is rental arrears. The change in legislation means that a significant number of tenants in the UK will have accrued substantial debts that need to be paid back. While employment figures are showing slow improvement as lockdown eases, the National Residential Landlords Association chief exec states that “the number of private tenants in arrears [has] increased threefold since lockdown measures started, more are at risk of losing their homes”.
This is certainly a fragile predicament for many tenants renting here in the UK. If you are either a tenant or a landlord, and are struggling to navigate the new rules, there is some really good advice available to you on the topic of Coronavirus, finance and bills, along with 50+ tips for landlords and renters.
We, at John Shepherd, are here to support both landlords and tenants in navigating a way forward, and if you are having any kind of difficulties with regard to the new rules on tenant eviction, or any other issues regarding renting or letting, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our lettings team: https://johnshepherd.com/our-team/