A number of buy-to-let landlords face financial hardship because of the coronavirus crisis, especially if the existing ban of tenant evictions is extended, according to Landlord Action.
Some landlords who already had possession cases for rent arrears going through the courts prior to the ban could find themselves trying to cover more than a year’s worth of rent if the courts are unable to resume existing cases from 25 June, and that is why Paul Shamplina, the founder of Landlord Action, says that these cases must be prioritised.
According to Landlord Action, following the government’s ban on evictions in March, there are an estimated 25,000 cases stuck in the legal system, of which 10,000 are from private landlords.
With more than 500 live possession claims with the courts, Shamplina says he is being contacted daily by landlords who launched eviction proceedings against tenants for non-payment of rent before the ban and are now facing financial collapse.
Shamplina has also called on the government to reject Labour’s five-point plan, which includes calls for an extension to the temporary ban on evictions from three months to six months.
He said: “We understand and agree that it will take many months for people to recover from this crisis and adequate support to prevent homelessness is absolutely essential. However, I do believe that existing possession claims should be treated separately to any tenancy issues that arise as a result of Covid-19.
“Cases where rent arrears had already built up for months and landlords had sought action prior to the pandemic should be prioritised as these landlords will be taking the biggest financial hit.
“If the ban on evictions is extended for existing cases as well, there will be thousands of landlords who, by the time they are finally able to gain possession of their properties, will have up to years’ worth of rent arrears, maybe more. I dread to think how the court systems will cope towards the end of the year.”