It was only a matter of time before we saw a trend like this start to appear…
…and it’s worrying.
It has been suggested by Ben Reeve-Lewis, the strategic case manager at ‘Safer Renting’, that some landlords across the country are turning ‘rogue’ and seeking to illegally evict their tenants.
In his words, there has been a “massive increase” in the number of illegal evictions in the last couple of weeks and months.
Landlords have had their hands tied from day one of this pandemic, and whilst we can’t condone any illegal action, we can certainly understand the reasons as to why a landlord may be forced into such a decision.
Immediate financial necessity is the biggest cause, as many landlords may have lost their own jobs, or at the very least, had their pay and conditions affected by coronavirus.
With mortgages and other outgoings to address, they simply can’t afford to wait around any longer to see what, if any, the end of the evictions ban will mean in terms of how long it takes to process an eviction.
We’re not seeing any increase in what we would call ‘unfair’ or ‘unjust’ evictions, it has to be said, but these evictions are still technically illegal, under the coronavirus regulations and the emergency legislation.
What does this mean for renters?
Well, we have been warning about it for months, but it means they face being evicted by desperate landlords, who have no legal process open to them, and then a fight on their hands to either stay in the property, or to find access to another property that meets their needs.
Especially for migrant workers, or workers in the so called ‘gig economy’, this could pose a huge problem in terms of driving people to rent in the unregulated and unchecked rental market, where they have zero rights and zero protection.
Access to safe and affordable housing is going to become harder and harder to come by.
You know, like we said it would.
The poorest people will be hit the hardest, and whilst a rise in landlords serving ‘illegal’ evictions isn’t going to help anybody in the long run, it seems that there are a number of previously law abiding landlords who are ready to take matters into their own hands against renters who either can’t or, as is usually the case, won’t pay.