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Letting agents warned to brace for upheaval when eviction bans ends

NRLA says many of the 840,000 tenants behind with their rent have little hope of catching up unless government intervenes with financial help.

Nigel Lewis

renter evictions

Letting agents are to face a wave of re-possessions and abandoned tenancies when the evictions ban ends on 31st May, landlords have warned.

Some 840,000 tenants are now behind with their rent, many of whom are so hopelessly in debt that there is little chance of them ever catching up, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) says.

It also predicts that landlords and agents will face a huge referencing challenge as many tenants’ credit scores are significantly damaged by rent arrears and records of non-payment.

This will make finding new homes to rent even harder and drive a boom in alternatives to referencing including higher rents and a surge in demand for guarantor schemes.

Of the landlords that the NRLA canvassed, 60% said they were owed rent and that 39% said these arrears were continuing to grow as the pandemic drags on.

The likelihood of tenants being evicted from properties is also receding – despite the government allowing exemptions to the most recent evictions ban, the snails pace court system means it is taking a year on average to evict a tenant, on average.

Virtual courts

Ben Beadle TDS Northern IrelandBen Beadle (left), Chief Executive of the NRLA, says the only solution is for the government to offer tenants and landlords financial help to clear rent arrears, and for the court system to utilise virtual courts more to speed up the hearings process.

“Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said: “While many landlords and tenants have worked well in responding to the challenges posed by the pandemic, we are now at a crunch point.

“As the country follows the roadmap out of lockdown, so too emergency measures in the rental market will need to be eased.”

Read more about evictions ban.

March 26, 2021


  1. Being a landlord is to be a soft target for the government.

    This is a “crowd pleasing” administration.

    Some years ago the now defunct National Federation of Residential Landlords (NFRL) took the DSS (now DWP) to court on the advice of an angry landlord, who fought the case. NFRL underwrote the court costs.

    Six cases were taken to court, NFRL lost five of the six.

    The DSS simply changed the regulations the day after they lost in court. Just a waste of time and money.

    NFRL, on my advice, ceased taking the government to court.

    It was a waste of members funds then, it still is, now.

    Not to understand how Government works and how they can change the rules in 24 hours is not to understand how the your business can be impacted by a political whim.

  2. The NRLA should have led Legal Action against the Govt last year ! – not waiting for it to get to this stage.
    Pathetically weak and doesn’t represent Landlords interests. Merely a profit generating company.

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