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BTL landlords ‘cannot be expected to foot the bill for government failure’

The government has been slammed for its 11th-hour U-turn after extending the eviction ban for four weeks and instructing landlords to give the majority of tenants six months’ notice. 

The move is designed to protect vulnerable renters adversely affected by the coronavirus crisis from a winter eviction. 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said that the aim is to prevent a potential wave of evictions around Christmas, leading to a possible “homelessness crisis”. 


But while many tenants are struggling, so are landlords, and the government appears to be ignoring that fact. 

Renters have been protected during the Covid-19 crisis by an eviction ban introduced in March and extended in June, which was due to end in England and Wales yesterday, but very little has been done to help BTL landlords facing financial hardship. .

Ben Beadle, CEO of the National Residential Landlords Association, commented: “A blanket extension is unacceptable, especially so close to the deadline.

“An enormous amount of work as gone into finding a balance between supporting tenants who have been affected by the pandemic and preventing significant financial harm to landlords, in accordance with the government’s promise. This announcement satisfies no-one.

“Landlords have been left powerless in exercising their legal right to deal with significant arrears unrelated to Covid-19, antisocial behaviour and extremely disruptive tenants who make life miserable for their neighbours and housemates. 

“Private landlords cannot be expected to foot the bill for government failure. There must now be a plan to support households to pay their bills and to compensate landlords fully for their lost income.

“Only this will give both tenants and landlords security and reduce the risk of widespread tenancy failure.”

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Poll: Do you agree that a blanket extension to the eviction ban is unacceptable, especially so close to the deadline?


  • Neil Moores

    We have stopped taking on many tenants who we would previously have taken a chance on. Those with zero hour contracts or less permanent income for example and definitely anyone relying on housing benefit to help with the rent. We would previously have decided each case on its own merits but we now have no idea whether or not we could be stuck with the wrong decision for years, not knowing how long we will be kept from evicting non payers. I can certainly see the scenario where a tenant in receipt of housing benefit decides to keep that benefit to spend on food (which is NOT being given out for free by the Supermarkets) , rather than give it to the owner of the house that they live in, knowing that there is nothing the owner can do about it. Therefore we won't take the risk.

    • 24 August 2020 10:10 AM

    Couldn't agree more.
    I can't find suitable occupants so intend to keep a property empty.
    I can afford to do so with the monthly mortgage payment being so low as on a tracker mortgage.

    Nobody earns enough to qualify for RGI and the only applicants are in flakey hospitality jobs.
    Not renting to that lot.

    I will be selling the property as there aren't sufficient suitable occupants.
    I am not prepared to risk letting to less suitable tenants.

    They could move in and not pay further rent and it would be years before I could remove them.

    Well before that ever occurred my lender would have repossessed the property from me.
    Unlike the Govt I DON'T have a magic money tree to make mortgage payments in the absence of rent payments!

    Nobody least of all Govt seems to have worked out that if rent isn't paid then LL will need to sell up.
    The Spanish Govt has it sussed and they are paying rent directly to LL.
    This is what the Govt should have done.

    But that DOESN'T fit in with their ideological war against small LL who they are seeking to eradicate.

    CV19 is for them a heaven sent opportunity to get rid of even more LL especially those with mortgages

    Matthew Payne

    Both the government and Shelter in increasing the rights of marginalised tenants have actually made it far more difficult for them to find a property to rent unlike before where many landlords and agents were prepared to take a view knowing they had remedy available. Commercial markets when sqeezed place pressures in other parts that were in equilibrium. Constant meddling in other words has led to that level of tolerance and educated risk being completely eroded.

  • Mark Wilson

    From where I see what is going on a wishful statement and expectation.

  • icon

    Has reality hit home yet ?

    It can often be difficult to discern the truth amongst all of the many dogs barking.

    • 24 August 2020 10:18 AM

    Enough of your ridiculous cryptic comments; go on explain what you mean!


    Reality is shown in the above posts. Landlords will no longer be prepared to take a punt on potentially vulnerable tenants - so the Landlord bashers are actually harming the most vulnerable tenants even more than before. I feel sorry for such tenants but I'm not running a charity and the so- called charities are only worsening the prospects of those they claim to help. THAT is the reality of the effect of current misguided actions of Government.

  • girish mehta

    Feed back from letting agents and industry is at least 80% tanents are paying rent or have negotiated wilt landlords.
    So why do charitand housing ministers think there are lots of people are going to be evicted
    Another case where pressures groups pushing for free loaders and a clue less minister only pandering to media.


    Other than one commercial tenant who cannot trade at present all are paying me and none have asked for a reduction or a rent holiday.


    My rents are all up to date but I have always been careful in tenant selection - not through discrimination but through choosing better properties which are in high demand and command top rents.

    • 24 August 2020 15:10 PM

    So 20% of national LL income is now never to be seen.......And for those 20%, there is ZERO income for a year or more.

    Not many people can afford that!!!!!!!!!!


    Same for me . Even a takeaway restaurant has been paying. I do begin to wonder how accurate all this drum beating is. Seems to be the few not the many.

    Matthew Payne

    This has become a self fullfilling prophesy just like the Rent Holidays back in April. Highest number of arrears I have heard quoted is 7%, most people I have spoken to tell me yes there are more late payers for obvious reasons but arrears on the whole 2-5% depending on who you talk to. General anecdotal feedback is storm in a teacup created by the media and lobbyists to fuel their own agendas. Most tenants desperately don't want to fall into arrears, bar the very small minority of opportunists.

  • icon

    I am now very strict on references and will only take permanently employed who can offer rent guarantees from home owning relatives such as parents.

    • 24 August 2020 15:03 PM

    Make sure you get even stricter.
    You can soon discover that those who seem very respectable and upstanding people can soon turn into complete thieves if, as is the current case, they see a 12 month gap where they can live rent free before having to move.

    In this day and age they could save an average saving of some £15,000 clean cash...As if that had earned an extra £18,000 a year before tax.

    For many of these crooks that is better than working and it is free cash on top of their normal salary.

    You will be surprised how many have already made that calculation.

    Except the Government of course.


    David, yes they can have 12 months free rent, but at the end of that time they should have earn't themselves a CCJ for non payment, how many landlords are going to be taking on a tenant with a CCJ now


    So Ken Johns, previously you were lax in doing credit checks then? More fool you and you reflect the attitude of many agents and landlords and I came across during my many years of being a letting agent.

    I checked out all of them and if they did not meet my high standards they were out. I never took a chance and never lost out on any landlord giving me the boot.

    I inherited a few when I bought out a business and was glad to see the back of those ones.

    Perhaps you will now act in a proper and professional manner with credit checking tenants. Shame it took a pandemic to show you the error of your previous foolish ways.

  • icon
    • 24 August 2020 15:17 PM

    Even better to have CCJ against them...I love a good CCJ.........


    Me too, years ago I had a small car repair workshop, I was on first name terms at the local county court, I didn't mess around if some one didn't pay me they got a CCJ , word soon got about not to mess with me.

  • icon

    The Law is the Law but its one-sided, so its not justice and we can't have any confidence in it whatsoever, what ever happened to the scales of justice.
    Regarding Section 21 it was the best thing ever for Tenants, many pushed for this and often approached the LL for backing, as soon as they got s21 Court order they were guaranteed to get council Housing. Why the government ever made such a stupid Law, it's beyond me they made a rod for their own back. The Gov' now wants everyone to believe its the LL fault and wants to get rid of everyone which is not true, its the Government that wants to scrap s21 to prevent people turning up at Council offices all the time to be housed, so why didn't they change the Law so they wouldn't necessarily have a legal duty to automatically house those people who are corrupting the system,
    it seems very simple to me, they have no qualms about making Laws for us every 5 minutes and their fake rent holiday which done enormous damage & pointless causing arrears, as we couldn't get rid of them anyhow always assuming we wanted to, which we didn't just more media hype. I currently have property idle & can't find Tenants, can someone please throw a few Tenants-in, instead of out.
    Many thanks.

    • 24 August 2020 17:23 PM

    Love it......

    • 24 August 2020 18:36 PM

    If Govt had any sense then S21 would be retained.
    BUT it would ONLY be used in cases of rent arrears.

    So immediately would be a FAULT based notice!

    S8 can be used for all other repossession processes.
    But of course that would mean a S21 notice would be known by the council so deemed INTENTIONALLY HOMELESS.
    So no qualification for Council Housing.

    S21 should be retained for rent arrears only.

    Of course it is usually the case that if a tenant is required to vacate by the S8 process they invariably stop paying rent and would dall into the S21 trap that would mean tenants could be got rid of far more quickly.

    But no way will Govt allow S21 to be used only for rent defaulting as they know most repossessions are caused by rent defaulting.

  • Ashley Beaver

    Being a landlord is a mugs game, the years of it being a golden goose are gone. Now all I'm left with is static capital growth and a real worry that tenants just won't be able to afford to pay at some stage.
    We're selling up while we can before a draconian tax is introduced. Nobody gives 2 hoots about landlords.

    • 24 August 2020 18:50 PM

    I believe your sentiments are widely shared by those in the LL community.
    Especially those LL that have mortgages.

    Yet you still see the hype about BTL.

    The penny DOESN'T seem to have dropped that if you can't readily repossess a property then you don't have a viable business.

    LL have to get tenant selection correct EVERYTIME!

    IF not then bankruptcy is possible.
    One rent defaulting tenant could devastate a LL personal finances.
    The odds are against LL getting tenant selection 100% correct.

    Until LL are able to get rid of rent defaulting tenants
    quickly BTL isn't viable.


    After 25 years in the job I couldn’t agree with you more. Never thought I’d sell anything but it’s funny how a good kicking changes your prospective. Still think it’s a plot to wipe out the little man and feed the corporate beast.

  • Ingrid Mott

    Best solution is : always keep a room for a LIVE IN LANDLORD. Even if you are not there a lot, you can get rid of abusers very easily because they are only lodgers, and as such, do not have assured tenancy status. It works, and lots of tenants will take lodger status out of desperation .

    • 25 August 2020 01:11 AM

    The problem is that legally this situation you suggest may only be achieved with a resi mortgage or no mortgage.

    Rarely can this be achieved.
    But I certainly believe that many BTL LL could reduce their BTL properties to a few residential properties some with resi mortgages.
    This then gives flexibility to homeowners to take on lodgers rather than tenants.


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