Industry accreditation body Safeagent has poured cold water on claims by housing campaigners that the UK faces a ‘cliff edge’ of evictions within the private rental market once possession hearings start once more on August 23rd.
A survey of over 100 members agents in England found that most rejected claims of widespread evictions as a result of the pandemic; 36% of those quizzed said they didn’t believe any tenants would be evicted after the ban ends, while a further 57% said it would be less than 10% of renters.
Most agents said this wasn’t down to arrears built up during the pandemic, but planned proceedings or non-payment of rent before March.
In terms of arrears, 74% of agents said that the proportion of their tenants who haven’t been able to pay their rent over the past three months was less than 10%, while 10% said it was between 10-20% of tenants, and 8% said none of their tenants were in arrears.
For those who are in arrears, the majority of tenants were behind by one or two months (42% and 44% respectively) while only 5% of firms said tenants had arrears of more than three months.
Safeagent chief executive Isobel Thomson (left) says: “We know times are hard, but we also know how much good work is being done by agents and landlords to maintain tenancies.
“Agents are not seeing high numbers of tenants in arrears and they are reporting landlords being sympathetic and willing to work with their tenants to find solutions.”