Rental news

Covid has resulted in some testing times for landlords. With the government’s ban on evictions of non-paying tenants, many landlords have had to bear a heavy financial burden and the protective measures keep coming. Evictions were allowed to begin again on 21st of September but there are big backlogs at the courts. At more or less the same time, though, the rules for regaining possession changed. Now, if you want to sell the property, for example, and your tenants don’t want to leave, it will take at least 6 months to remove them, even if their contract comes to an end in the meantime. The government is also proposing a ‘Christmas Truce’ preventing evictions over the festive period and temporary bans on any evictions in lockdown areas.

For landlords who need to regain possession as a result of rising rent arrears, the new legislation was not good news. Research by the Resolution Foundation found one in eight private tenants had fallen behind with their rent since the outset of the pandemic. If you add in delays at court, landlords could wait up to a year before they can evict non-paying tenants. Mediation services may well be the best option - the PRS Mediation Service ( works on behalf of both landlords and tenants. Its costs are very reasonable – starting at £100 for helping arrange an informal understanding to £300 for a legally binding and documented agreement. And, even if no agreement can be reached, the courts will at least look favourably on any efforts to reach a compromise.

There are exceptions to the six month eviction rule - landlords are only required to give 4 weeks’ notice if the issue is anti-social behaviour and 2 to 4 weeks notice for domestic abuse and false statement cases. 4 weeks is the timescale for anyone whose rent arrears are over six months and breaches of Right-to-Rent or Right-to-Remain have a 3 month notice period.

The unusual conditions mean rents are following a very similar path to the sales market, with rising demand and prices in many regions. Across the UK, average rents were up by 0.2% in September and by 2.1% annually. In London, though, rents continue to fall, down by 0.4% month on month and by 2.8% annually. The closer to the centre, the greater the falls, with some of the biggest to be found in areas in and around the City. The falls are likely to be only temporary though and should, hopefully, be reversed in the spring when many of us may return to our normal places of work.

Commenting on this month’s data, Martin Totty, chief executive at HomeLet, said:

“Tenant demand remains strong whilst supply may be a little more constrained if some landlords are selling into a stronger sales market, even if that could be a short-term phenomenon. It also doesn`t help tenants much if, for them, the prospect of securing first time mortgage finance remains as elusive as ever.”

If you have a property for rent or sale in Mayfair, Marylebone, Regent’s Park or Hyde Park, and are concerned about any of the issues raised in this article, please

Call us at Manors and we can talk you through your options.