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Law Society calls for ‘legislative changes to prevent a spike in homelessness’

More needs to be done to help support tenants, especially those facing financial hardship as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to The Law Society of England and Wales. 

The independent professional body for solicitors has welcomed the government’s decision to grant a notice period extension from three months to six months until March 2021.

This new notice period will apply to all notices, including Section 21s, but will exclude the most egregious cases which have been returned to their pre-Covid levels.


Simon Davis, president of The Law Society of England and Wales said: “This notice period extension will provide relief for those tenants facing eviction, and will give vulnerable tenants the time they need to seek help and find a new place to live.”

These changes come after the government extended the stay on evictions by a further four weeks, now ending on 20 September, and changes to court rules to manage court backlogs and prevent a spike in homelessness.

“The stay extension means courts can continue to make the necessary arrangements to manage cases safely during Covid-19,” said Davis.

“The government and the courts have also passed new court rules and provided extra protections to vulnerable tenants and those who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

“However, more needs to be done, including resolving the legal aid deserts currently preventing tenants in some areas from receiving legal advice and making wider legislative changes to prevent a spike in homelessness.”

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    What makes them think all these tenants are ''vulnerable'' many will be perfectly able to pay their way but will take advantage to be housed for free, until that is they are evicted with a CCJ to their name and find it very hard to find a decent landlord to take them on.



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    It’s a farce. What’s the betting the extension isn’t going to end on 20 September?!

    • 04 September 2020 17:49 PM

    I suggest that the eviction ban may well be ended in September.
    But what Govt will do is bake in the 6 month notice.
    So from Sept 20th 6 months notice will be required.
    It could easily take a year from the expiry of the 6 month notice to achieve eviction.

    17 months!!

    I wonder how many LL could support mortgages for that long with no rent coming in?
    Of course as we all know rarely is a property ready to rent the day after a tenant has eventually been evicted.

    You could easily add on another 3 months before the property is ready and new tenants sourced.
    So 20 months!!!!!

    Govt won't need to have a formal eviction ban in place just needs to impose 6 months notice.
    Of course as this all plays out we will be nearing abolishment of the AST and S21.

    Wonder what happens if S21 is abolished and a S21 eviction hasn't been achieved yet!!!??
    DOESN'T bear thinking about.

    Think about this to a large extent RENT has been paid courtesy of furloughed wages.
    When redundancy occurs many LL will be facing issues with tenants who won't be able to pay rent and will need UC.
    We all know how long that takes to sort.
    Can you imagine millions of new claimants.
    The UC process is dysfunctional at the best of times.
    Add a million or so new claimants; it will be months before LL know even whether a UC claim for much lower rent has even been successful.

    I believe if Govt ISN'T going to assist tenants to pay their rent arrears then Govt really needs to impose compulsory forbearance on lenders for mortgaged LL suffering from rent defaulting tenants.
    To have NO effect on the LL credit status at all.

  • icon

    Its all about tenants, tenants, tenants...... nothing ever about vulnerable landlords who need their rent money to be able to put food on the table for themselves.


    Couldn’t agree more. Vulnerable tenant is the new word for problem tenant. The non payer anti social tenant. Vulnerable really!!!!


    when a word is overused, it loses value... regardless of whomever it is intended to protect.

    Ipso facto, the boy cried , "wolf" one time too many ?

  • Mark Connelly

    Genuine cases where the tenant has never paid a penny surely aren’t seen as vulnerable- the sad thing is the council won’t even house them because of rent arrears. I have tried so hard to help them but am left thinking - you can take a horse to water but it doesn’t have to drink - exactly the same for these tenants .
    There was some good news - Rishi - our Chancellor increases universal credit by £1000 a year at the beginning of lockdown so at least by direct payments increased - still not enough to pay the rent - a sad situation through and through. They received their reminder of my intention to evict them via a section 8 but I don’t think they understand - please courts reopen so normally can return - even if it’s online

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    What the Gov are doing by Manipulating the Housing legislation and court process is nothing to do with genuine Covid arrears,
    Its all about keeping evicted tenants away from struggling Local authorities and the Public purse.. But, the BIG Question is, - How many Landlords would Contribute to a legal fund - case against the Gov
    ( I'd wager a tinny fraction, and therein lies all landlords downfall )

  • icon

    It might have been more help if a voluntary Reconciliation Service was made more generally available: dialogue and potential compromises on both sides where appropriate (recognising that not all situations could be dealt with such a process) but if that does not work out, a fast-track eviction process.

  • icon

    As loads of people have observed, government think of us as worthless parasites that society would be better off without, so anything that makes life harder is welcome, especially when they can at the same time offload their costly duty to protect the vulnerable onto other people for free.
    This constant narrative of landlords wilfully making people homeless totally ignores the blindingly obvious question, namely who took the trouble to house these people in the first place, in good faith that they would honour their obligation to pay for the service they have procured? The only support that is required is for government to step up and make sure that everyone has sufficient means to pay for the basic necessities of life, something which they have been increasingly failing to do as time has gone on.

    Mark Wilson

    In most cases being a landlord is commercial activity so the question of 'who took the trouble' is misleading. Its only done for personal gain.

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    Many of these "vulnerable" tenants are obese - so they could divert some of their expensive junk food spending to pay their rent. Healthy food is far cheaper but many of them can't even cook.

    The solution is so simple - lend deserving tenants rent money - evict the con artists fast and house more deserving tenants who are blocked from decent homes by these rent dodgers.


    ha ha... it's your boat, you can float it however you want ?

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    Exactly! The bottom line is that the government does not want to take on any responsibility for vulnerable people who are unable to pay rent. Their ongoing strategy is to demonise small private landlords .

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    • 04 September 2020 10:03 AM

    Yet again mark Wilson another ridiculous comment by you.

    Of course LL provide accommodation for personal gain.

    You would hardly expect a LL to provide it for free!!!

    Just consider all business which only does it for personal gain.

    The provision of goods and services is what makes for a modern economy.

    Society would collapse and anarchy would reign if people expected not to have to pay for such goods and services.

    It is the case that currently only tenants are being facilitated in this fantasy rent transaction where LL are being forced by law to effectively provide free accommodation.
    That must be an infringement of a LL property rights.
    If LL are unable to personally gain from their rental accommodation then there is NO point in being a LL.

    So if all LL were able to and actually did stop letting properties pray tell would the 5 million provate tenants live!?


    I'm beginning to think Seb and Mark are one and the same person


    Exactly Paul. Does Mark think your nurse, fireman, road sweeper or anybody else ‘worthy’ is doing it voluntarily?! For what it’s worth, I DID go into this business 25 years ago thinking I could house homeless people, do good for others, give people a chance in life. I was proud of myself and worked hard at it. But you soon learn!!! With the best will and intention in the world, it HAS to be profitable. Wait til you’ve been confronted with your first £30k refurb after a tenant wrecked it before saying it ought not to be a profitable business!!


    Well done James, how do you manage all of your faces so well ?

    "it HAS to be profitable"... but... "I could house homeless people, do good for others, give people a chance in life"...

    Now you say you're lonely
    You cry the whole night through
    Well you can cry me a river
    Cry me a river, I cried a river over you

  • icon

    This is a very naive view coming from a not so impartial (law society) source it seems. In to politics are they? They should stick to their day job.


    law society is not much good at anything


    Surely, the Law Society only have to be good at one thing ?


    I disagree the law society is very good at instructing their members how to extract money from individuals.

  • girish mehta

    Again more rules to scam the landlords and making money for lawyers .
    Tanents have signed legal contract. Why do they need so much support . Can’t pay them move elsewhere.

    Go to shops and stealing. Instead of facing the consequences of the law.
    Everyone get on the bandwagon to help the criminal and wipe their backsides for them so they make more money. In the end it comes back to government to pay for it . And the taxpayers end paying for it. As tenets get ever increasing benefit
    Just a big scam

    • 04 September 2020 11:01 AM

    The State by it's very action actually sponsors criminality in facilitating rent defaulting without loss of the service the LL is providing.
    We have effectively State sponsored THEFT!!

    I don't know of any other paid for service in the UK where the service provider is forced to provide the service for Free until an extensive legal process has been gone through!!

    I find the very concept very bizarre.

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    • 04 September 2020 11:07 AM

    Quote: Mark Wilson:
    "In most cases being a landlord is commercial activity so the question of 'who took the trouble' is misleading. Its only done for personal gain."

    Excuse me! But what business is NOT done for personal gain? Name one.....Go on Mark..NAME ONE?
    What planet do you enjoy living on?


    You've gone off on a tangent David - attempting misdirection to win an argument ?


    I'm at a point now where I delete all comments from Seb without reading then, think I might just do the same with Mark


    Typical Left-ard attitude...

    You must agree with me or I'll cancel you ?

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    He is an abbreviation of a Water Anchor



    You sir, are flaccid !.. say what you mean, and mean what you say !

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    this is discrimination and against our HUMAN RIGHTS,so is anyone going to take this up ?
    where is the support for Landlords who have to allow people to live rent free ????????????
    we need a group action against this government robbers!


    Take umbrage but don't overplay it ?

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    • 04 September 2020 11:11 AM

    Good idea - Count me in......

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    • 04 September 2020 11:27 AM

    Seb I don't believe this is being overplayed at at all.
    Property rights are for all INCLUDING LL.
    Govt legislation certainly contravenes the UN Charter.

    It is only because LL are not capable of coming together to represent themselves that Govt gets away with these things.

    All it would take to reverse this is for every LL to pay £1 per month to the NRLA.

    This would then support any number of legal actions in defence of private LL rights.

    Unfortunately this will NEVER happen and Govt knows it which is why it rides roughshod over private LL.

    • 04 September 2020 11:30 AM

    Why would it never happen?


    "discrimination and against our HUMAN RIGHTS" is a little too dramatic for my liking.

    "Property rights are for all", means exactly that. Anyone who doesn't like it is in the wrong game.

    "It is only because LL are not capable of coming together to represent themselves that Govt gets away with these things."... ask the people who own Canary Wharf and the Shard ? The current stat. is that only 13% of commercial rents are being paid in the City at the moment - you can adjust it for bias if you wish.

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    • 04 September 2020 11:29 AM

    Sebastian: I do not get what you are saying!
    All I want to know is what business, just even 1, is NOT run for personal gain?
    The answer of course is NONE?

    So, in that case, Mark Wilson is talking out his rear end..!!!!!!


    Mark did not say, "every business is run for personal gain"... you twisted what he said to fit your agenda.

  • icon
    • 04 September 2020 11:57 AM

    Property rights mean those who own the properties should have the control NOT the occupants!


    Whether you agree or not, the Rent Act 1977 disagrees with you.

    Who didn't enter this game with their eyes wide open ?

  • icon
    • 04 September 2020 12:02 PM


    It will never happen as trying to get LL to work together for their common interests is akin to attempting to herd cats!!

    LL are simply too selfish to consider the common good of all LL even if it ultimately benefits them.

    Go figure!


    "LL are simply too selfish to consider the common good of all LL even if it ultimately benefits them."

    I couldn't have said it better myself... and then they wonder why everyone is against them ???

    • 04 September 2020 12:07 PM

    £12 a year is a deal?
    Anyone else up for it?


    Too little, too late David ?

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    • 04 September 2020 12:06 PM


    The quote was exact: "............. Its only done for personal gain."

    And I want to know what business is NOT done for personal gain. My position is that ALL businesses are for personal gain.

    "In most cases being a landlord is commercial activity so the question of 'who took the trouble' is misleading. Its only done for personal gain."


    You managed to get there in the end - well done sir !

    "In most cases being a landlord is commercial activity so the question of 'who took the trouble' is misleading."...

    So do you agree with that statement ?.. it's a 'yes', or 'no', and you are welcome to explain why.

    If you wish to have a different conversation, about other businesses or businesses in general, we can do that but can we finish the other one first... please ?

    P.S. there is also something called 'context' which you have conveniently chosen to ignore - it's a bit of a Leftie tactic ?



    Stop wasting everyone's time on semantics. We're trying to run businesses with no support from anyone else. We're grown ups and not looking for favours or hand-outs - just a level playing field where the rules don't change in mid match. If you haven't anything better to do with your time try playing with the traffic!


    Robert, welcome to the game of life... your turn to spin the wheel ?

  • icon
    • 04 September 2020 12:08 PM

    Seb the act facilitates legal theft.
    It is a piece of political legislation.
    Doesn't make it right as it interferes in property rights of the owner.

    LL are the game to make money.
    Therefore said LL will wish for rent paying tenants.

    Those who don't pay for the service should be booted out immediately.
    TRY staying in a hotel and then walking out without paying.
    Arrest would surely follow!


    "the act facilitates legal theft."... well, to be honest, I kind of agree with you.

    Once more for clarity... Who didn't enter this game with their eyes wide open ?

  • icon
    • 04 September 2020 12:14 PM

    Seb when I say selfish I mean that LL don't wish to be involved with other LL.
    Not that they are selfish for being a LL.
    LL must always consider themselves FIRST.

    If they don't they won't have a service to provide.
    But it will assist them if they joined together with other LL to assist that justified selfishness.
    Sometimes you can't do it all on your own.
    Even LL have to accept that sometimes 'no man is an island! '

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    • 04 September 2020 12:19 PM

    2.5 million private LL join the NRLA for £1 per month

    That is a fair few millions to fight the LL cause which is what the NRLA is up posed to be about.
    The CBI has massive contribution by companies.
    I reckon the NRLA funded by 2.5 million LL at £1 per month would probably be the most well funded trade body EVER!

    They could afford with that sort of money to pay every LL legal costs for repossession


    Ask to see their financial statements... and then you will see how much money is left over to look after your concerns - just like LLs, their concerns come before anyone else's (including yours), or they wouldn't exist ?

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    ALL landlords should join an Association, but definitely NOT the same one, and preferably one with a Pair of balls !

  • icon
    • 04 September 2020 13:02 PM

    Unfortunately I didn't enter the game with my eyes open.
    I had no clue as to how dysfunctional the eviction process was.
    Had I been aware I would not have invested as I did and I may not have bothered at all.
    I would instead have bought a house and taken in lodgers.

    No problem then removing rent defaulting lodgers.

    This is why I believe it should be compulsory for anyone considering becoming a LL should be required to undergo 30 hrs of CPD training as is required in the transport industry.

    Had I gone through the training I doubt I would have bothered with BTL.

    So it is still the case that many LL get into the game NOT knowing all the pitfalls.
    Of course ENTIRELY their fault and I accept the fault on my part.

    I clearly did insufficient DD on the business I was getting into.

    But such are the information facilities now I don't believe LL have any excuse for ignorance about the game.
    The information is out there readily accessible.

    I would like to see a National compulsory LL Registration along with CPD before able to trade.


    I feel like you've been around the block a few times - I mean no offence.

    We have had some housing booms in the past 30/40 years when selling up would have been perfect but, of course, the rents also went up... and subsequently, everyone re-negotiates their own levels of risk ?

    "blah blah blah, the value of your investment may rise as well as fall, you should not invest more than you can afford to lose, and past behaviour is not indicative of future performance, blah blah blah.

  • icon
    • 04 September 2020 13:33 PM

    Seb most LL are aware of what you state.
    But they aren't aware of how dysfunctional the eviction process is.
    This fundamentally undermines the investment whether the value goes up or down.

    If you can't service the BTL mortgage then you are pretty much stuffed.

    Govt policy now guarantees that LL cannot operate their business effectively.

    So it is not a proper business.
    Therefore the supposed value of the investment is questionable.
    This value is capable of being seriously undermined by a feckless rent defaulting tenant who LL can't easily get rid of.
    The whole BTL proposition is not as straight cut as many like to propound.


    COVID-19 unfortunately means that 'all bets are off'.

    Who would have thought that we'd be crossing our fingers for our littles ones to aspire to be pharmacy/supermarket staff or courier/delivery drivers ?

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    • 04 September 2020 13:43 PM

    Yep anyone who who works for a supermarket gets priority as a tenant with me.
    Flakey hospitality jobs forget it.

    Those looking for job security it is the military; Govt jobs or a supermarket.
    I think I might start again doing my lorry driving.
    Used to work a lot casually for Sainsbury
    No shortage of work.
    Get your HGV then never out of work!!

    I used to work 8 days a week!
    Funnily enough I was due to start driving coaches again.
    But CV19 has destroyed the Coach industry.
    So for me perhaps back to visiting lots of interesting loading bays!!!

  • Matthew Payne

    Whilst clearly an emotive subject, this isn't just about tenants rights versus landlords rights, the governtment is also motivated by building in some practical safety steps as well. If there are 4.5 million PRS tenants or 6.7% of the population, the CV mortality rate is about 10%, roughly 40% of all tenancies each year are relet to new tenants albeit with the huge backlog in anticipated S21s, lets call that 50% this year.

    Then the "experts" are forecasting between 80,000 and 250,000 deaths over the winter, that would mean between 54,000 and 167,000 tenants are going to get infected and be needing to move property. Lets split the difference and round. The government doesn't want 110,000 infected tenants moving house over the winter spreading the virus far and wide, they want them staying at home. A pre arranged PRS lockdown.


    You can't say that - I'm offended, it hurts my feelings.

    • 04 September 2020 18:09 PM

    I'm sure most LL would support the possible lockdown PROVIDING the Govt ensured the tenant was able to pay the rent.
    The point being if rent ISN'T paid then invariably lenders will repossess irrespective of CV19.

    Whether Govt likes it or not the best way to prevent LL removing tenants is to their rent.

    Then a LL has no reason to evict.
    So Govt just has to top up the LHA rate to the rent that was being charged.

    That would be far fairer and wouldn't risk bankrupting LL.

    The problem here though is that Govt is seeking to eradicate small LL.
    It is using CV19 as a welcome opportunity to drive more LL out of business.

    So I can't see Govt helping at all.

    Time to get the boys in to remove recalcitrant feckless rent defaulting tenants


    Paul, tell me what really bothers you most... is it:

    a) your pound of flesh; or,
    b) your pint of blood ?

    All YOU really care about is YOUR penny in YOUR pocket ?


    In any business the money is the objective. We look after customers because they make us money. When they cost us money we no longer want to deal with them. For tenants, that means eviction!

  • icon
    • 05 September 2020 10:22 AM

    Absolutely totally agree with you.
    The penny in my pocket is bar none the most important thing to me.

    I am simply NOT interested in the alleged woes of any feckless rent defaulting tenants.

    Most tenants could have saved or taken out insurance to protect against sudden income loss for WHATEVER reason.
    Most tenants chose not to do either of these things.

    My lender has no sympathy if I cannot pay the mortgage.

    Consequently I have absolutely no sympathy with the feckless rent defaulting tenants and I'm damned well NOT going to use any finance of mine to subsidise the lifestyles of feckless tenants.

    But DON'T expect me to care a jot that they can't pay their rent.
    I want them out ASAP and only the stupid Govt prevents me from operating my business.

  • icon
    • 05 September 2020 10:52 AM


    I don't care what happens to them. It is brought to them purely through their own fault. WHATEVER that fault might be.

    Now let them live with it when eventually (which it will happen at some time) all the CCJ's come through along with evictions and bad financial records for years on end.

    Let them then live then in their own made s**t and long may it last.


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