National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA)
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Lockdown: Government clarifies position on possession cases

The Government has provided important clarification about the enforcement of possession cases during the second national lockdown.

In a letter to the High Court Enforcement Officers Association the Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland, has confirmed that during the lockdown there will be no enforcement of Possession Orders except for the most serious cases.

These will include those related to illegal trespassing and squatting and tenants engaged in anti-social behaviour, fraud or deception. The Government has also confirmed that it will bring forward an exemption from the enforcement ban for cases related to extreme pre-COVID rent arrears.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, recently said:

“The vast majority of landlords who have had tenants affected due to the pandemic have been working constructively to support them. We continue to encourage and support such action.

“However, in a minority of cases renters have abused the protections afforded by the recent ban on repossessions, causing significant hardship. It is therefore important that the Government recognises that in the most serious cases enforcement action must continue.”

The announcement comes as the Government recently announced that the furlough scheme and equivalent support for the self-employed is to be extended until March next year.  According to research for the Resolution Foundation, as of September 9% of private renters in the UK were reliant on the furlough scheme.

He added:

“The extension of the furlough scheme and support for those who are self-employed will be a lifeline to many renters reliant on it. However this still does not address the considerable rent arrears that tenants and landlords continue to face due to the pandemic through no fault of their own.

“Ministers need urgently to develop a bespoke financial package for renters to pay off such arears. This should include a mix of interest free government guaranteed hardship loans and increased benefit support for those who rely on it.”

More information 

For more information about Coronavirus and your lettings read our guidance for landlords here.

The NRLA is currently camapigning for a comprehensive package of financial support to allow tenants to continue to pay their rent during the pandemic. For more information click here.


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