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Graham Awards


One in eight landlords wanted to evict tenant during pandemic

A lettings agency says there is very large scale support amongst tenants for the extension to the current bailiff-enforced eviction ban, announced by the government last weekend.

Midlands agency chain Barrows and Forrester says that a survey on its behalf shows 76 per cent of tenants as pleased with the extension - and even 43 per cent of landlords felt the move was justifiable. 

Some 46 per cent of tenants stated that they have not seen their financial situation worsen as a result of the pandemic although there are big regional variations - in Northern Ireland, for example, 67 per cent of tenants say they are now worse off. 


Tenants in the Midlands and Greater London have also been hit more than most.

Around 18 per cent of tenants surveyed said they struggled or failed to pay the rent during the pandemic so far, but again there are local variations - 28 per cent of tenants in Wales have struggled, as have 27 per cent in Northern Ireland and 21 per cent in both Scotland and the West Midlands.

Some 23 per cent of landlords have seen their level of rental income reduce due to the pandemic: 12 per cent had wanted to evict a tenant but could not do so because of previous bans. 

Barrows and Forrester surveyed 1,144 current UK tenants and 992 current UK landlords.

James Forrester, managing director of Barrows and Forrester, says: “The ban on tenant evictions is a delicate subject and both sides of the argument have valid reasons for wanting to see the ban either extended or lifted.


“Financial reasons brought on by the pandemic are no doubt a factor, with nearly half of tenants seeing their financial situation worsen due to the pandemic.

“However, a far smaller proportion have struggled to pay their rent and many landlords have also seen their rental income sustained which is good news for all of those operating within the sector.

“There are also those that are using the current eviction ban as an excuse to avoid paying rent and while this is a very small proportion of tenants, it still poses a serious headache for landlords.

“Thankfully the government has now allowed landlords to include any unpaid rent accrued since the start of the pandemic to be included within the six month time frame at which point they can start eviction proceedings.

“Of course, the ban itself poses a far more serious issue for some. Financial reasons aside, many of the most serious cases will be due to domestic violence or anti-social behaviour.

“It’s fair to say that in these instances the government should not be protecting tenants from eviction, so it’s reassuring to see that these should continue to be considered on a case by case basis.

“Landlords are the backbone of the rental market and all things considered, much more needs to be done to support them during this tough period.”

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  • George Dawes

    I was lucky mine left in August , until this whole plandemic blows over ( if it ever does ) , I see no reason to let again unless the tenants are cast iron guaranteed payers ( some hope )

    The future looks bleak tbh

  • Andrew McCausland

    After an in depth survey of 2,000 turkeys the result is in - they are not voting for Christmas. How terribly unsurprising.

    We all know tenants are struggling and I am not pushing for a scorched earth policy of evicting everyone in arrears. Tenants need support. However, this support should not be funded by landlords, who are also struggling, but by government.

    Currently LL are being forced to subsidise the losses faced by tenants and have no way of covering their own lost income. Their inability to evict non-paying tenants is forcing many landlords into financial hardship themselves.

    What should be happening is a comprehensive policy of tenant support, via soft loans or direct rent payments to landlords. Anything else is just kicking the can down the road, making the financial problem worse and causing mental anguish for both LL and tenants.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The current Govt strategy is NOT Sustainable, however they decide to mask it.

    Next ' ploy ' will be the Mediation game, where some wet-behind-the-ear mediator ( paid for by the landlord, of course ) will decree that the tenant has agreed to their U.C. being paid to landlord direct, with a tenner a month towards outstanding Arrears of Several £ K - that would take 300 years to repay. !!!

    England have clearly decided in a low-key manner, Not to implement a loan scheme for tenants, such as Wales & Scotland. Instead, they have given £ 180 Million extra to Councils for Discretionary Housing Fund, And, £ 500 Million Hardship.
    0.7 Billion might sound generous, until you consider that a 'normal' years rent Arrears is £ 9.9 Billion !
    Further, I can see L.A's allocating these scares funds to cases where they see the landlord as having a higher chance ( and sooner ) of gaining legal Possession.

  • icon

    Non payment of Tenant receipted LHA funds from a Tenant to a Landlord is a 'pandemic' in it's own right.
    The Government could and should make this a criminal offense.
    At the very least is should be a mandatory ground for accelerated possession without a court hearing.
    This passive utopianism that "all Tenants are honest and decent" needs shutting down and fast.
    Those Tenants that are should be afforded all the protection currently in place …. and more.
    Those that aren't need to be shown the error of their ways.
    I have heard the County Court back log is now 20-24 months.
    A warning to the Government to get a grip of this - I would never advocate acting outside the law, but there are many landlords that are getting closer to taking the law into their own hands.


    A tenant receiving LHA then not paying his rent must be guilty of either fraud or theft, or even both, I fail to see how they cannot be, best way is to avoid tenants on LHA.


    Agree Andrew, though many Landlords inadvertently have ended up in this situation due to Covid.
    Certainly true the private rental sector's support for the vulnerable is disappearing fast....I wonder whose fault that is ? (Sigh....think Polly Neate)

  • icon

    I’ve got a tenant desperate to be evicted where her case has been running for close to a year now. The court refuses to answer any emails about progress. She keeps telling me to push it forward but I cannot. The last letter I got from the court was a single sentence of absolute legal nonsense. No attempt to clarify this has been met with any assistance. The courts are an ignorant, useless, thieving, scandal and should be utterly ashamed of their incompetence.


    The courts work at one speed, dead slow, and you will never change that.

  • icon

    Andrew M, JohnT,
    We all know very well how grossly incompetent and devious the UK public sector is. I t is undoubtedly the fault of the senior govt staff and the combined ignorance, incompetence of our politicians. They do not give a hoot so long as they can be parasites on Landlords.
    I too am sympathetic to many genuine tenants on hard times. But both Councils and central govt MPs/Ministers are indirectly, directly using the private funds of many a landlord . they all talk a load of B/s, about being fair, knowing jolly well what they are doing is grossly unfair!!


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