Let’s set one thing straight.
Evictions were never actually banned. They were paused, they were suspended, they were delayed.
For the many tenants who were already about to be evicted, this came as a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ if you like, but it was also a vital reprieve for those cast into vulnerability by COVID-19, and the uncertainty, unemployment and pessimism that came with it.
In effect, it was the courts that were suspended, rather than evictions themselves, but the complications of this action have never been easy to decipher.
For now, we won’t try to complicate things any further, other than to say that the 4-week extension to the so called ‘evictions ban’ is only likely to put off payback, rather than address the situation in any meaningful way.
Tenants have been affected, yes.
Landlords have been affected, that is also true.
Homelessness may well be on the rise after all of this is done, and you can bet your bottom dollar that the rental market will suffer like never before, but forget the shouting from every side, what is actually going to happen?
Well, the rent will still be due.
Arrears will still accrue.
And people...yes, real life people, will still need to know what to do.
When the courts eventually begin to process evictions again, the most serious cases will be given priority.
Hopefully, they won’t be rushed, because the impact this could have on vulnerability is potentially very dangerous, but we can’t hang about indefinitely, as the Government seem to expect us to.
Landlords are understandably worried about getting their properties back, the costs involved in doing so, plus whether or not they’ll even be able to get back what they are owed. The pandemic enforced new legislation regarding notice periods doesn’t help either.
Tenants need to get themselves together, if that is at all possible, finding new places to go, new opportunities for employment, new finances, answers from the rhetorical abyss.
“What am I going to do now?” may be a rhetorical question for many, but it’s a real question for everyone involved the resumption of evictions. It’s up to us as an industry, a community, and as human beings, to work out the answers to that question, as best we can.
It isn’t going to be easy.