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The stay on housing possession claims, as a result of the COVID - 19 crisis, came into effect on the 26th March and was further extended, meaning that no cases will be heard by the courts until the 23rd August, at the earliest. Whilst the principle, when brought in is to be supported, the impact to landlords and agents could be significant and a Government co-ordinated strategy is required.
Andrew Luxton MRICS FARLA, Stags Residential Lettings confirms it is estimated that by the end of August there will be a potential backlog of over 62,000 possession claims, which ignores claims that may have arisen as a direct result of COVID – 19. The majority of these cases are as a result of a landlord genuinely requiring the let property back, as a result of tenants failing to meet their obligations under the tenancy agreement or failing to pay rent often well before the COVID crisis.
Based on an average rent of £193 per week in the UK, from the time the stay came into force, until the cases restart will incur a loss of £4,149 purely due to the suspension. Also, on the basis the average time from claim to possession by a county court Bailiff is already 22.8 weeks for private landlords this could add an additional £4,400 to the income loss.
Every extra week is a week of lost income, which will have a significant affect on private landlords and agents who have mortgages and bills to pay.
Fortunately at Stags we have a very low number of potential claims, and are proud of our low number of rent arrears and the arrangements we have negotiated between landlords and tenants during this difficult time. The key is to keep talking.
For help or advice, contact one of the Stags lettings departments or email Andrew Luxton on firstname.lastname@example.org.