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Boris Johnson told: You’ve kicked the rental sector in the teeth

A leading trade body has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that some landlords face receiving no rent for two years. 

In a letter to Johnson, the National Residential Landlords Association accuses the government of expecting landlords to subsidise struggling renters and reward those who are wilfully refusing to pay their rent. 

It is also accused of causing continuing hardship to communities and families suffering anti-social behaviour and domestic violence perpetrated by tenants.


This letter follows the last minute eviction ban U-turn last week. 

The government has now said that repossession cases on the grounds of rent arrears will not be treated as a priority until tenants have built over a year’s worth of rent debts; in addition landlords now have to give six months notice of possession.

Where the case is disputed, even before the pandemic, courts were taking an average of nearly six months to deal with cases, with the backlog this is now likely to be longer.

Taking the English Housing Survey average weekly rent in the private sector of £200, the NRLA says this means a potential lost income for a landlord of up to two years amounting to £20,800.

The letter to Johnson says 94 per cent of private landlords are individuals, letting out just one or two properties. 

The NRLA is warning that the failure to provide any direct financial support for the sector during the pandemic means many landlords will be forced to make claims against renters building arrears. 

“This would leave tenants’ credit scores in tatters” says the association.

The NRLA argues that the only route out is for interest free, government guaranteed hardship loans to be made available to tenants to pay-off COVID related arrears. These have been introduced in Wales and will sustain tenancies and remove any risk of eviction as furlough is removed, the association says.

These measures should be accompanied by a guarantee that there will not be a further extension of the ban on repossessions. 

Ben Beadle, NRLA chief executive says: “The overwhelming majority of landlords have been working constructively with their tenants to sustain tenancies where rent arrears have built as a direct result of the pandemic. 

“The government actions are a kick in the teeth for all these landlords who have done the right thing.

“Ministers must use the next four weeks to come up with a credible plan that pays off rent arrears built due to the pandemic and gets the courts hearing cases again.

“Stopping landlords from legally ending failed and disruptive tenancies is not a solution. The Government must act to cover the costs of providing homes, they cannot expect landlords to foot the bill for their failure to support households.”

  • Harley Welch

    Its numbers game. There are far more tenant voters than landlord voters thus the landlords yet again are treated unfairly. Why on earth would the government listen and do anything that is correct and fair when they would lose votes. Remember the fees ban ..all about keeping the votes. Most landlords are decent human beings and are working with their tenants to help any arrears and certainly have no interest in taking their property back. Possession is a last no option straw for any landlord. It costs even more rather than helping a tenant get back on track. It needs to be case by case basis including help to those that need it. Far to many landlords and tenant are being tarred with the same brush either good or bad. Bring in the Housing only courts with sensible evidence sensible timelines and sensible and fair resolution. The public have the answers if only they would just hear us.

  • icon

    The only ‘ message ‘. The govt will understand is a legal case for their abuse of the legislation process, purely designed to off-load the financial burden for welfare rent and housing, onto Private landlords. !


    Yes, legal action is the only way we will get the Government to sit up and realise that we are not going to continue to just swallow more and more of their outrageous policies. Asking nicely isn't going to cut it.

  • icon

    What an assault we’ve suffered over the last few years. Perhaps Robert Mugabe is advising Boris and his clowns, this has Zimbabwe all over it, when will we see the first landlord deaths from suicide and or attack by an emboldened self righteous tenant, indignant that their desperate landlord is on the doorstep pleading for them to go so they don’t go bankrupt and lose their family home as well. When will the first privately owned property be handed over to the feckless tenant? When will the first landlord kill a tenant. Agenda 21 is in full swing make no mistake. We are the enemy and they’re not finished yet. This is appalling.

  • icon
    • 29 August 2020 01:10 AM

    So given the choice between the Prevention of Eviction Act and being bankrupted by feckless rent defaulting tenants which option will most LL take!?

    Sending the boys in late at night and obtaining a Surrender of Tenancy document will suffice to remove a tenant from a property.

    Good luck with a feckless rent defaulting tenant proving they didn't sign a Tenancy Surrender letter.
    Police have more things to worry about than feckless rent defaulting tenants being removed.

    Most of society would say that would be entirely appropriate action.

    Most people pay their way.
    If they can't then mostly they DON'T take the p.
    Only the feckless do that.
    LL won't stand for it.

    Govt is deluding itself if it believes LL will allow themselves to be bankrupted by rent dodging feckless tenants.
    I say to those feckless tenants
    Watch out!


    I think thats exactly how this story will go for some


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