How badly has COVID-19 affected rent arrears?
COVID-19 has no doubt negatively affected people’s finances. From job loss to a 20% reduction in pay where furloughed, the pandemic has had a clear impact on the number of renters in arrears.
What are the statistics?
According to a survey by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) in December, as a result of COVID-19, as many as 800,000 private renters could be behind on their rent.
Meanwhile, Citizens Advice found that 46% of London renters have lost income during the pandemic, compared with around a third nation-wide.
What to do if you/your tenant has fallen behind on rent
The single best way to resolve falling behind on rent arrears is to communicate. Tenants being open and honest with their landlords about their financial situation is key, whilst landlords are encouraged to listen and be understanding towards their tenant’s circumstances.
In most cases, if a landlord wants to evict a tenant, they will need to give at least 6 months’ notice prior to initiating proceedings. After that, due to a backlog of cases, there is no guarantee that a court date will be set soon after.
However, even with a lengthy time frame, tenants should not ignore rent or let it mount up. Possession hearings, possible evictions and County Court Money Judgment orders (CCJ) will eventually happen and this will have long lasting consequences.
Instead, tenants and landlords should try to put together a suitable payment plan directly. This way, the landlord is aware of what the tenant can reasonably afford, and the tenant has an affordable way to pay off the debt.
What if we have tried to negotiate but are getting nowhere?
Granted, there are situations where communication between landlords and tenant breaks down. This cannot always be avoided but this is where TDS Resolution can help. We provide an efficient mediation style service with the aim of helping parties agree suitable rent arrears repayment plans. Conversations with us can be completely confidential, so tenants are encouraged to talk about their financial situation with us which may at times be more difficult to discuss with their landlord. Our team is skilled in resolving these types of situations and are ultimately here to help, get started now using our interactive form below.