All evictions are equal - or are they?
Which type of evictions should be dealt with first when the ban is lifted?
Evictions for anti-social behaviour and domestic violence should be given top priority when the evictions ban is lifted. This is what the National Residential Landlords Association said earlier this week and the NRLA is calling on the courts to push these cases to the top of the list, alongside evictions for rent arrears, when the ban is lifted at the end of August.
This has become a serious issue because cases of domestic abuse and problems with anti-social behaviour have rocketed during the lockdown. Research from the University of Bristol reveals that more than a third of victims of domestic abuse live in private rented housing. And Landlord Today reports that there has been a 66% increase in calls to the Domestic Violence Helpline during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In normal circumstances, where domestic violence is found to be happening in a rented property, landlords will often end the tenancy agreement and offer a new one to the victim independent of the abuser. At the moment, due to the ban, this isn’t happening and this lends even more weight to the NRLA’s call for the courts to deal urgently with these evictions when repossession cases can be heard again at the end of the summer.
At Ringley, in our opinion, the problem will be made far worse by the Government’s proposal to axe Section 21 - which is what we have always considered as the polite method for landlords to use to evict difficult tenants.
Section 21 made it easy to evict a tenant at the end of their tenancy agreement with no questions asked. We have always supported this simple, non-confrontational way to end a tenancy and we see no signs that any of the proposed alternatives will be as straightforward or as effective. What do you think?
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