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Government slammed for encouraging 'rent dodgers'

The leading landlords trade body is accusing the government of rewarding rent dodgers with its latest restrictions on eviction.

The National Residential Landlords Association says the latest tweaks to the England lockdown eviction controls mean the worst tenants can build almost 18 months of rent arrears without any sanction at all.

The new rules - which we covered yesterday on Landlord Today - say that until January 11 possession orders granted by the courts and relating to rent arrears can only be enforced where the arrears amount to nine months or more. Those nine months must have been in place BEFORE March 23, the day the UK-wide lockdown was announced back in the spring.


Any arrears built since then would be disregarded, the government announcement says.

The NRLA says thisis a missed opportunity to help those tenants in financial difficulty due to Covid-19, and does nothing to actually address housing debt accrued since the beginning of the pandemic.

“In trying to arrive at a compromise the government has failed to help those in genuine need whilst rewarding those whose arrears have nothing to do with the pandemic, and in some cases are wilfully not paying their rent” explains NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.



“This is doing nothing to help those tenants who are trying to do the right thing and seeking to pay off their debts. Instead of prolonging the problem with short-term fixes, the government needs to urgently bring in a financial package to enable tenants to pay off rent arrears.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    18 Months is a short period of time in a life time of renting, so what all landlords need to do now is serve a money claim online to every tenant that gets to 2 months in arrears, that way for the following 6 yrs every time that non paying tenant tried to rent another property their CCJ would show up on their credit history, what landlord would take on a new tenant with a CCJ now ?

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    That's Exactly what we've been doing since March. One tenant moved out and found themselves somewhere new BEFORE the CCJ came through.

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    • 18 November 2020 08:16 AM

    Excellent idea. That will now become a policy of mine.
    After all, the cost of a CCJ is not that bad.....And it gives me a buffer to have it ready to go rather than waste a few months of lost rent.

  • Fredy Jones

    The government is encouraging tenants not to pay rent, the question people should be asking is Why?

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    It would seem the government continues its pursuit of Landlords in the belief they are a cash cow that can be bled. Serving a money claim make a lot of sense, especially when other businesses are entitled to engage a debt collector if customers stop paying. It needs handling with care to make sure the right people get assistance if needed.


    The government can hit us all they like, what they forget is just like any other business all costs are passed onto the end user, it really should be made law that all MPs have run a business at some point during their lives then they might just grasp this.



    I agree, but all that would achieve is another 650 businesses going bust very quickly, apart from those run by former Councillors which would get loads of grants!

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    • 19 November 2020 19:21 PM

    I've said that for years.....
    And I have said on here too, when outside interference adds to my overheads and for whatever reasons, I will add those additions PLUS a 15% administration fee at each rental review, which is usually annually, and is backdated to the date of the enforcement of the increases.

    FULL STOP - I will not ever pay for Local Authority incompetence.

  • icon

    Funny thing here is I have just now received an email asking me why my membership payment to the Conservative party was not paid this month, I have politely replied as to why after 45 yrs I can no longer support them.

    • 19 November 2020 19:48 PM

    Did you give them the reasons?


    David, I simply pointed out that I am a landlord and as such was I was sure they would understand why

  • Matthew Payne

    I would go as far as to stay government actively encouraged the rent arrears to start in the first place let alone doing little to remedy it since. You may remember they put in their guidance in April that landlords would be entitled to a mortgage payment holiday to help alleviate the pressure on tenants. Ambigous enough to have many, including manay landlords, believe that a 3 month rent holiday had been endorsed by HMG. Government then chose not to clarify its guidance as it had no alternative solutions to offer and rather conveniently, having private landlords bail them out to the tune of £15bn has been rather handy.


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