Written by Aidan Dike-Lawlor
The Coronavirus Pandemic has had a grave economic impact for those involved. The balance of power between landlords and tenants has always been a contentious issue. However, where can we find the balance in a global pandemic where small and large landlords face losing their homes but if you were to evict a tenant they could be left homeless too?
We work with many landlords and tenants trying to protect their interests. However, with the denouement of the 3-month mortgage holiday passed, and the draconian hands of the coronavirus amendments to the Housing Act 2004 still in place – times are tough for many small landlords who rely on rental yields to pay mortgages on these properties to afford them and survive. With Coronavirus causing tens of thousands of redundancies, many tenants are left unable to pay their rent and some unfortunately using the circumstances to their advantage.
In normal times, evictions are not uncommon, however during COVID the ardour towards community spirit created a lot of animosity towards evictions. As times get worse, some landlords have had to take the tough decision to evict tenants to protect themselves and their families. Although, the solution may seem simple, how easy is it to evict a tenant at the moment?
With COVID, the government have protected tenants by amending the Housing Act 2004 to place more stringent conditions on landlords. Therefore, if a landlord wants to evict a tenant, the most common ways Section 8 and Section 21 notices now require 6 months’ notice to evict. The impact of this measure, that it is often to late for landlords, they are behind on payments and now have to foot the bill on evicting tenants; the situation is far from ideal. There are some exceptions such as in Section 8 the notice period can be shortened for certain reasons such as antisocial behaviour.
The measure means that Landlords are forced to speculate their own and their tenant’s financial positions earlier than ever. It is therefore, our advice to you that if you are in doubt, it is best to start the process early to mitigate potential losses and additional stress.