While landlords have had to cope with the evictions ban since the pandemic
lockdown began, one specialist firm says the time to evict a tenant could
increase by six months.
The warning from Court Enforcement Services is for
landlords to appreciate that getting an order for eviction could be
extended as the courts try to tackle the backlog of claims.
The firm's chairman, Daren Simcox, says that landlords should have the
option of paying for a High Court officer to carry out the eviction, rather
than waiting for cases to be transferred to the High Court.
Mr Simcox explained that county courts are granting leave to enforce orders
for possession under the current ban's extensions.
Chronic shortage in the county courts of bailiffs
However, he adds that there is a chronic shortage in the county courts of
bailiffs and there is a huge backlog of cases that has built-up during the
Landlords are also being warned by Paul Shamplina, the founder of Landlord Action, that when the eviction ban ends on May
31, there will be an 'evictions avalanche'.
He says this is likely to overwhelm the legal system.
Mr Shamplina said: "Without government support when this package of
measures ends for helping tenants with accumulated rent arrears, I fear
there could be an eviction avalanche."
He added: "There are thousands of landlords with court orders outstanding
from a year ago and warrants are due to expire which means having to
reapply to the courts.
"We don't know if those landlords will be at the back, or the front of the
Clear exit strategy when the latest eviction ban ends
The National Residential Landlords' Association is calling
for a clear exit strategy from the Government for when the latest eviction
A similar call has been made by an all-party committee of MPs who say the
government should not have a 'last-minute panic' over evictions.
The NRLA's chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: "The plan needs to tackle
those rent debts that have built up during the pandemic.
"We support the committee's call for Government action for tenants so they
can repay their rent arrears as a top priority."
'Landlords are struggling'
The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon
Thompson, said: "Lots of landlords are struggling during the pandemic and
many of them have been helping their tenants.
"However, we have been highlighting that there is a growing issue with rent
arrears and landlords will still need to access the courts to have an
eviction order granted."
He added: "The Government must consider quickly how these rent arrears will
be dealt with and we have called for financial support for tenants and
landlords to resolve those arrears."