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.
Ben 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.”