Landlords have been hit by a Government decision to extend its eviction ban
for another six weeks.
The move means that the bailiff ban in England is now being extended to 21
February - at the earliest.
Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, said the move will help protect the
'most vulnerable in society' and help those in need.
Propertymark's chief policy adviser, Mark Hayward, said: "It's no surprise
the government has made the announcement in light of the recent lockdown,
yet the government has held off with updates about evictions.
"This makes it impossible for landlords and agents to plan and respond for
the winter months ahead."
Courts facing a huge backlog of eviction cases
He added that the entire private rented sector has been affected by
Covid-19 and that the courts are already facing a huge backlog of eviction
cases, many dating to before the pandemic struck.
The head of insurance at Goodlord, Oli Sherlock, said: "It's vital we
continue supporting tenants in this latest phase of restrictions and
tenants and landlords have been working well together, on the whole,
through the crisis to create strategies and payment plans that will keep
people in their homes."
He added: "However, we are concerned that a further extension of the ban
without extra provisions for tenants and landlords is storing up trouble
for the future."
'Landlords who have had eviction cases pending'
The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon Thompson, said:
"There will be lots of landlords who have had eviction cases pending since
the first lockdown began and this must be a frustrating decision.
"Landlords have worked hard to help keep tenants in their homes but a
financial package for tenants and landlords alike must be considered
because there will be landlords who will have gone for months without
receiving rent but still have a mortgage and bills to pay.”
Landlords are being warned that the evictions ban will be reviewed at the
end of February and may be extended further - particularly should strong
Covid-19 lockdown restrictions still be in place.
Rent Smart Wales criticised by NRLA
Meanwhile, the Rent Smart Wales quango has been condemned by the National
Residential Landlords’ Association (NRLA).
In a report, they say that the organisation has an ‘accountability deficit’
because they have no guiding strategy, communicate poorly with sector
players and they lack transparency.
The organisation was created in 2015 as a single licensing authority -
though local councils can still introduce a discretionary licensing scheme
for any private rental properties.
Calum Davies, the NRLA’s Wales public affairs spokesman, said: "We believe
there's been insufficient scrutiny of Rent Smart Wales.
"What is clear is that there is a lack of transparency about how decision
making within the organisation is conducted and who is accountable
politically for those decisions."