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Latest two month eviction halt not enough for Generation Rent

The government’s announcement at the end of next week that almost no evictions would be possible before January 11 at the earliest has received a hostile welcome from activists at the Generation Rent campaign.

Baroness Alicia Kennedy, director of the group, says: "The government had an opportunity to protect renters from losing their homes, and have instead chosen not to act. A non-binding pause on bailiff action is completely inadequate. 

“Eviction notices will be dropping through renters' doors throughout lockdown, and the courts will be open the entire time, putting pressure on renters to move out while the pandemic rages on. Although the government has asked bailiffs not to enforce possession orders, it’s not clear if tenants are legally protected. In the event that a bailiff goes against the guidance, renters will have few options.”

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Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick last week said that bailiffs would not be enforcing possession notices until January 11, with the only exceptions being “the most egregious cases” including where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or are the perpetrator of domestic abuse in social housing, and the landlord rightly would like to re-let their property to another tenant.  Large scale arrears accumulated before the Coronavirus will also be an appropriate reason for an eviction to go ahead. 

Courts will remain open throughout the lockdown with the COVID-safe rules and procedures introduced in September.  These include the strict prioritisation of cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes. 

However, the Generation Rent director says government measures to protect the vast majority of renters do not go far enough.

 

 

“The furlough scheme has been extended, mortgage holidays have been extended. Why then, have the government failed to extend protections against eviction?” she asks.

“To keep renters safely in their homes, the government must end section 21 'no fault' evictions and evictions for Covid rent arrears, lift the benefit cap and increase Universal Credit to ensure it covers average rents. This weak guidance to bailiffs will not protect the most vulnerable, and simply delays the looming homelessness crisis” Baroness Kennedy insists.

  • James B

    Do they expect tenants to live for free for ever on landlords tab ? From what I see they have support by furlough and housing benefits if needed

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    A pity that Generation Rent are not at all concerned with the obligations of tenants.

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    • 09 November 2020 10:45 AM

    What is the amount of money that Govt considers is Large scale rent arrears!!??

    LL need a figure.

    I would say 2 months rent as that is when a lender will call in a loan if the BTL LL hasn't paid the mortgage.

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    Even if the government gave them a two year pause on evictions, money back for all rent paid ever and £2k a month spending GR would still find something to moan about because thats what they do whinge & moan. Their whole aim is to level out everyone 1970's communist Russia style.
    When we are all queuing for bread then they will be happy

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Its clear that generation rent need to re-name themselves more appropriately ; as
    " Generation Free-Rent. "
    which will very quickly obliterate accommodation and cause Tenants the most harm.
    I've said it before and I'll repeat it.
    The policies that tenant support groups pursue only ' potentially ' seek to assist 5 % of Rogue tenants and are actually detrimental to the vast majority of lawful tenants, ( including the 84% who are satisfied with renting. )
    Seems to me that if Tenants only knew, they'd actually be campaigning AGAINST, these so-called tenant support groups. !

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    I second that.

    And a Fee Free National Govt. maintained database/register of non paying Tenants with LL’s obliged to record rents delayed by 14 days+ within 30 days from the rent due date.
    Online court systems can check the Tenants database for Eviction claim due to non pay rod rent-if an earlier match of non payment found then auto issue an Eviction Order with Bailiff action within 21 days from the court order.
    It will be a cost effective, efficient, professional, no blame on anyone court process.
    It’s the same as checking passport or driving license match on line for various services-sure enough Generation Tenants should be comfortable with a register showing their rent payment/ASB/rental property maintenance etc history etc.
    It’s only fair to have a regulated LL as well as Tenant license register-paid for by the tenants.

     
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    That is spot on

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    • 09 November 2020 15:40 PM

    Unfortunately chaps such tenant register proposals are for the birds.

    No way will Govt want such an effective and appropriate system.
    Mostly caused by rent defaulting LL lose £9 billion a year.

    Now think if tenants could justifiably be evicted quickly because of rent default that £9 billion would be transferred to councils who would need to find TA.
    That would cause even higher increases in Council taxes.

    There would be many evicted tenants that couldn't source any accommodation.

    Politically the Govt simply couldn't countenance such a fast track eviction system.

    Govt knows bad tenants cause private LL massive losses.
    These are privatised losses and don't appear anywhere on the Govt balance sheet.

    Govt effectively uses LL assets to subsidise feckless tenants.

    Of course Govt never mentions to taxpayers that feckless rent defaulting tenants means less tax is collected from LL as you can't usually tax rental income that isn't there.
    Obviously S24 LL know they still have to pay tax on fictitious income whether or not they receive any rent.
    But that is a story for another day.

    LL need to be aware that there will NEVER be a National database of good and bad tenants.


    Eviction is scheduled to become even more difficult if not nigh on impossible.

    LL must be cognisant of these circumstances and plan accordingly; an ultimate expression of which could be selling up or stopping AST letting.
    Govt is seeking to put small LL out of business.
    It will do nothing to assist them to stay IN business.

  • Fredy Jones

    Gen rent are going to get their way and have tenants able to live rent free for years before the they get evicted

    Most private LLs will lose their properties and soon most renters will be renting off th government

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    • 09 November 2020 20:37 PM

    Yep what you suggest is not unrealistic.

    LL need to carefully consider whether it is worth it anymore.
    I suggest NOT and so will be leaving the PRS as soon as I can.
    I have certainly fallen out of love with the AST sector and agree with your sentiments.
    Trouble is it isn't easy to liquidate one's assets in the PRS.
    Though I reckon many LL will be repossessed long before the LL can enact eviction.
    Lenders can repossess in about 3 months.
    Mortgaged LL who can't keep the show on the road have a great deal to fear.
    Bankruptcy. and homelessness awaits many of them!!

     
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    The issue of rent arrears appears to affect around 3% of properties, up from around 2% but still a tiny minority.

    Sadly it probably affects those landlords least able to weather it, with the lowest price and lowest quality properties and/or the highest level of debt or gearing.

    I have always gone for properties in the best areas and highest demand, refurbished to a standard which attracts the highest rents and best tenants with solvent middle class guarantors and joint and several liability from several tenants and guarantors to spread the risk.

    Proof of the pudding is only one eviction in around 300 tenancies and no incidence of rent arrears for many years.

     
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    Shelter and Generation Free Rent, are lobbying groups who need to keep creating problems, to get funding and to follow their own Political Agenda which appears to be free accommodation for all. I imagine most of their clients are the small proportion of tenants who are rent dodgers.
    No Tenant should expect to be able to live for free. The government and local authorities have the power and resources to help Genuine tenants, by way of furlough payments, Universal Credits, and discretionary Housing benefit payments. If the tenant chooses to keep these payments then they should be out. With a quick and cheap process. It`s not rocket science to establish if someone is eight weeks in arrears. Telling tenants they cannot be evicted for years is madness. According to the Trust for London webb site (one of the sponsors of generation Rent) The Courts are putting of hearings for months some till 2023. In a bid to control the number of evictions. By that time most Landlords will be bankrupt.

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    I agree with all of your post apart from the final sentence.

    The problem is not widespread and won't become so. If landlords' properties get repossessed then prompt evictions would follow and if the volume of this escalates then National and Local Governments would have to deal with the consequent homelessness.

    Contrary to what the loonies claim, forcing landlords to sell up won't lead to any reduction in homelessness. Even if there were enough buyers around, owner occupied properties tend to be less densely occupied than rented properties - so forcing landlords to sell up actually makes homelessness worse. The only solution is for the public sector to build more affordable housing but given the built in inefficiency of the public sector this won't be "affordable" for the tax payer!

     
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