Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Landlords

Agents must help landlords understand eviction rules

Letting agents

Letting agents need to make sure that landlords understand the new notice periods set by the government as the ban on evictions comes to an end on September 20, PayProp says

The current ban on evictions, barring further extension, is due to lift on 20 September; however, there are some changes in place, such as updated guidelines around notice periods.

It is important that landlords understand the updated rules, and letting agents must work to help them minimise the need for repossessions, according to Neil Cobbold, chief sales officer at PayProp.

Cobbold said: After six months and two extensions, the ban on evictions is set to come to an end on September 20, with courts to hear rental property repossession cases again from the following day.

The resumption of evictions will be a welcome milestone for landlords who have had to wait six months to take action against tenants with serious rent arrears or those committing offences of anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse, he said.

Cobbold said, letting agents will need to make sure that landlords understand the new notice periods set by the government. These include a six-month notice period for the majority of repossessions, alongside shorter notice periods of between two weeks and three months for the most serious and urgent issues.

Landlords will be facing a very different process under the updated rules, Cobbold added.

He said: The new evictions system is more complex than before, with landlords seeking to repossess a property through the courts due to rent arrears required to provide information relating to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on tenants.

For a variety of reasons, seeking an eviction from September 21 could be a longer and more difficult process than before. Therefore, agents will need to remind landlords that repossessing a property through the courts is not to be taken lightly and should be considered a last resort – while also being prepared to assist with the changing process where necessary, he said.

At the same time, agents will play a crucial part in helping landlords to reduce the need for evictions caused by rent arrears. They can do this through organising affordable repayment plans, digitally recording all payments and automating arrears chasing. Because of the length and complexity of the new eviction process, agencies will need a dedicated eviction expert to help them navigate it, , Cobbold said.

He said, PayProp recently partnered with tenancy management firm AgentSmart so our clients can confidently outsource their eviction proceedings at preferential rates.

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