On 23 March 2020, county courts were forced to suspend evictions due to the global outbreak of Coronavirus. After 14 very long months, that ban has now come to an end and bailiffs can once again execute possession warrants and the courts system can restart.
Landlords will still have to give four months’ notice of an eviction, down from six, but this will revert back to two months in August.
After several false deadlines, for the many landlords enduring financial problems as they have waited to evict tenants, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Sherrelle Collman, Managing Director, Caridon Landlord Solutions, part of Caridon Group, says:
“This is good news for landlords, particularly those who have cases trapped in the court system and therefore have been many months without rental income. However, landlords must appreciate there is, without doubt, a significant backlog which cannot be cleared overnight.
We also acknowledge that this change will be concerning for many tenants, but the ban on evictions had to come to an end at some point, just as lockdown had to and furlough will.
We know there are millions more tenants who are now in receipt of Universal Credit (this figure has more than doubled over the last 14 months) and landlords and agents with tenants in this position would be advised to educate themselves on the UC system and how they can work with their tenants to sustain rather than end the tenancy.
Caridon Landlord Solutions has been working with landlords who had no prior knowledge of the Universal Credit system to identify where their tenants might be eligible for an Advance on their Universal Credit payment and/or where they should apply for an Alternative Payment Arrangement. Challenging financial circumstances for some tenants may only be temporary, so if the tenant has always been reliable in the past and taken care of the property, it’s worth exploring these options.
We would like to see improvements to the efficiency and functionality of the online Universal Credit system to help landlord confidence. We believe this could prevent a number of evictions as we approach the end of the furlough scheme in September.”
If you are a landlord considering possession action, please contact Caridon Landlord Solutions.