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It’s nonsense: Figures show eviction surge fear is unfounded

The largest survey yet conducted about rent payments during the pandemic shows the claims of pressure groups about widespread evictions are unfounded.

Over 95 per cent of 2,243 private tenants questioned in the study are paying rent in full or have an arrangement with their landlord to pay a lower rent or defer payment.

The survey, conducted independently for the National Residential Landlords Association, finds 87 per cent of private tenants have paid rent as normal throughout the pandemic. 


An additional eight per cent have agreed a reduced rent, a rent-free period or made some other agreement with their landlord or letting agent

Ahead of the courts beginning to hear possession cases from August 24 the survey shows that just over three per cent of tenants are building arrears and are unable or unwilling to repay. 

Less than a third of all those with arrears - so that's just two per cent of the entire survey sample - have been served with a possession notice.

Further evidence that landlords are working to keep tenants in their homes comes from a separate survey showing 55 per cent of landlords have granted at least one tenant a deferred rent or rent free period to absorb the losses from savings.

These figures come ahead of new rules being introduced which will mean courts can adjourn possession cases where landlords have failed to adequately explain the impact that the pandemic might have had on tenants before seeking possession.

The NRLA says it has developed guidance in conjunction with other groups to support landlords and tenants to agree how to deal with arrears.

It is now calling for government guaranteed hardship loans to be made available to help tenants in arrears because of the pandemic. 

Ahead of the winding down of the furlough scheme, the NRLA argues that such loans should be provided to eligible tenants interest free and ring-fenced solely to cover rent payments in order to give tenants security.

“Consistent with our previous surveys, this latest data demonstrates that the vast majority of landlords and tenants are working together to sustain tenancies, and critically that the overwhelming majority of tenants are paying rent as normal” explains NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle. 

“Eviction is not, and need not be, an inevitable outcome where tenants have struggled to pay their rent due to Covid-19. Those who argue otherwise are stoking needless anxiety for tenants” he continues.

“When the courts do start to hear cases again, it is essential that they deal swiftly with the most serious cases, including those where tenants are committing anti-social behaviour or where there are long-standing rent arrears that have nothing to do with the pandemic.

“To offer security to tenants and landlords badly hit during the lockdown we are calling on the government to introduce a tenant loan scheme to help pay off arrears built due to the coronavirus.”

  • James B

    No surprise there .. shelter recently published some survey of 200 tenants claiming it was a national reflection.. they had probably asked 200 tenants who called them in distress
    These so called charities can’t be trusted .. self serving parasites

  • icon

    This is excellent research, and critically far relevant than anything that has come out so far - and making Shelter look like idiots. Great to see NRLA putting this out.

  •  G romit

    So much for #Shelter's "tsunami" of evictions on 23rd August.
    Shows that Shelter have been scaremongering, something that is unbefitting a supposed national charity

    Colin Taylor

    There will be a Tsunami of evictions; but as the experience of Thailand showed, tenants will come drifting back eventually...

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Wales are leading the way and England are SLOW to have taken up the initiative - Loans [ means-tested ] To ' TENANTS ' for o/s rent, Paid directly to the Letting Agent or landlord.
    At last a sense of realism that nobody can expect anything for FREE, SOMEBODY'S GOT TO PAY FOR IT. - and why on earth is it fair for Private Individual landlords to pick up the states Welfare responsibilities. !

  • icon

    This is unclear and potentially misleading. Whether or not there’s an increase in arrears there will be an increase in claims. Why? Even if coronavirus hasn’t led to an increase in T’s not paying rent the mere fact that claims have not been possible for months means there’s a backlog. That’s based on the natural run rate of pre covid 19 claim levels. On that basis alone there are over 30,000 claims waiting to be issued and that’s if Covid has caused no additional claims whatsoever.

    The message should be a simple one- only c.2% tenancies require a claim and only c.35% claims are pursued by the PRS (the rest/majority by housing associations and local authorities). There WILL be an increase in claims but that’s because for 5 months there haven’t been any. Usually there are c.25,000 per quarter even though the number has been falling for years. In August-December the courts will have to process all the backlogged claims waiting for those 5 months AND the natural run rate of claims that would always have been necessary even w/o Coronavirus. And it’s that volume that will create issues and cause claims to surge. Mostly this will be a problem, ironically, for housing associations as they issue c.60-65% claims anyway, as above.

    Alex Cook- Helix Law

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Absolutely - have been saying this for months.
    My position is somewhat between the NRLA's and certainly far short of Gen R or Shelters scare -mongering tactics to try to bully - Intimidate the Govt into delaying the lawful process.

  • jeremy clarke

    And still polly walks around with her head up her own a*** taking every penny on offer from gov and playing political football with the prs. Come on Boris, withdraw all funding from this shameful bunch.


    So that's why she is always talking out of it!


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