The island has put protection measures in place for struggling tenants hit by the pandemic so that landlords must wait another five months before they can take action

Landlords on the Isle of Man have been told they can’t evict tenants who are behind on their rent until the end of the year.

Its Office of Fair Trading has extended a law which protects tenants facing eviction for rent arrears during the island’s state of emergency. This means eviction notices now can’t be handed out until 27th December, and any notice of eviction issued by a landlord to a tenant who has failed to pay rent in full, would have no legal effect.

However, the regulations only relate to a tenant’s failure to pay rent in full or at all, and landlords can still issue a notice of eviction for other reasons, such as criminal damage to their property.

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Martyn Perkins, chair of the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading, says: “The extension provides a level of protection for tenants who are experiencing financial problems due to exceptional circumstances outside their control. I would encourage anyone experiencing financial problems to make use of the OFT’s Debt Counselling Service.”

Tenants still have to pay landlords in full if they fall into arrears for the rest of the year, and after that, landlords need to make arrangements with their tenants to help them pay it back. They’ve been asked to take their financial circumstances into account when doing this, particularly those who have been impacted by the pandemic.

The halt on evictions was introduced in March as part of a package of measures to help workers and businesses. The Isle of Man hasn’t registered any new coronavirus cases since May, although the border remains closed. Landlords on the island also face having to register themselves and their properties if a Landlord Registration Bill gets approval. The government is currently consulting on plans to establish minimum management and property standards in the private rented sector along with a rent deposit protection scheme.

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