Mayor stoking tensions between tenants and landlords

The Mayor of London is causing needless fear for renters as he wrongly assumes that everyone in arrears due to COVID-19 is at threat of eviction.

The NRLA has accused the Mayor of scaremongering when he claims that up to a quarter of tenants are in arrears and under threat of eviction.

With the courts due to begin again to hear possession cases from 24th August following a five month suspension, the NRLA is pointing to new polling showing that 95 per cent  of tenants in London are either paying their rent in full or have reached an arrangement with their landlord to avoid arrears. This includes 83 per cent who are paying their rent in full and on time. For the remaining 12 per cent landlords have agreed for tenants to pay less rent or defer payment during the pandemic.

The Association has written to the Mayor calling for a greater collaboration between him and private landlords. It is also calling for an end to the rhetoric which is stoking up tensions between tenants and landlords when what is needed is a spirit of partnership and understanding between both sides.

New rules being introduced will mean courts can adjourn possession cases where landlords have failed to demonstrate that they have fully taken account of the impact that the pandemic might have had on their tenants before seeking possession.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said:

“This has clearly been a challenging time for tenants and landlords across London. It is not in anyone’s interests to cause unnecessary anxiety for tenants through making wild predictions about people losing their home.

“The vast majority of tenants and landlords are working well together to weather the current crisis. With new court rules in place, it will be in the interests of landlords to do everything they can to sustain tenancies where possible.

“It is that spirit of co-operation that we need to build upon.”

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