Landlords in the UK have been asked to take a lot on over the last few months and years...
An increasingly tenant favouring approach from the Government has had its ups and downs for those on the landlord side of tenancy agreements.
This has been instrumental in supporting the most vulnerable in our society, and whilst more needs to be done for those who really need the help, there have been many tenants who have been given an easy ride, when they really weren’t owed one.
A ‘one size fits all’ approach, with things like the scrapping of Section 21 evictions, gave much needed breathing space to those who really needed it, but also provided an easy way out for genuinely ‘bad’ tenants.
Landlords themselves though, were unable to adopt anything like a ‘one size fits all’ approach during lockdown, and they were repeatedly encouraged to engage with their tenants in order to build understanding and sympathetic relationships towards the current crisis.
Hundreds of thousands answered that call, offering payment breaks and temporary lower instalments, all off their own backs and with no official legislation protecting their income or their assets.
The Government are clear that once this is all over, any outstanding rent will still be due, and any unpaid rent will still have been accruing, but there are still so many questions.
When can landlords begin eviction proceedings against tenants for unpaid rent?
No earlier than the end of August, as the eviction suspension was extended for 2 months. A good thing in many ways, and for so many people, but something that will have been taken advantage of by plenty of tenants who really didn’t deserve (or need) any extra protection.
Will landlords be able to get their money back?
For those who have cultivated positive and trusting relationships through empathetic communication and bespoke agreements, chances are that the overwhelming majority of tenants will pay what is owed, however long it takes, so that’s good!
...and it is a big ‘but’...
...for landlords who will have no choice but to take the legal route, more good will and patience is being requested.
The courts will be overwhelmed throughout August, September and beyond, as landlords are expected to spring into action against tenants who owe them money, or worse, have damaged their property.
There will be help, there will be guidance, and there will be enforcement wherever it’s needed.
Landlords will just have to hope that it doesn’t all come much too late.
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