A leading PRS figure has warned that the easing of Covid restrictions on July 19th and the government’s plans to wind-down Covid support for the economy will have a significant effect on the private rented sector.
Tim Clark (pictured), chairman of the UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA), says his members are worried about a surge in evictions and a contraction in the size of the rental market as the support for – and protection of – tenants ends following months of Covid.
“The restrictions on evictions during the last year, while appropriate for the time, could result in an explosive situation without the government providing more support to tenants,” he says.
“Landlord mortgage payments still need to be made and rent arrears will still exist.
“Without more support to tenants, as has been done elsewhere, there will be wide-spread evictions, leaving many tenants in impossible positions.
Kicked the can
“The government has effectively kicked the can down the road on this one. Currently, potential evictions are merely being postponed, but tangible help for tenants could help avoid them and the distress they bring.”
Clark also says this uncertainty within the private rental sector is driving more landlord to change their strategies, with over 50% of his members’ client landlords putting off plans to buy more properties and 40% planning to reduce their portfolio’s size.
“This situation, suggesting a possible reduction in the size of the PRS, adds a further potential squeeze on top of the evictions boiling pot,” adds Clark.
“Unfortunately the government has yet to recognise that, without help, tenants may not be able to rent again.”