Some tenants are using both the evictions and bailiff ban as a ‘green light’ to stop paying their rent even when they are able to afford the payments, it has been claimed.

ARLA Propertymark has made the comments within its submission to the ministry of housing’s investigation into the impact of Covid on the private rental market.

“This means that many landlords face extended non-rent payments with no reasonable certainty of how to recover costs,” it says.

“A second wave could make these cases much worse and lead to the landlords who are experiencing problems selling their properties and leaving the sector altogether, reducing the number of homes people can rent.”

ARLA has also published shocking figures that reveal the huge impact on landlords since the evictions ban was introduced including that, despite the courts re-opening, many landlords – except in the most extreme cases – face a nine-month wait to gain possession of their properties.

A survey of ARLA’s lettings agency members revealed that half said their landlord clients had issued a Section 21 notice to at least one of their tenants in September, a figure which increased to 55% in October.

Rent arrears

“The two main reasons for serving these notices were rent arrears and landlords wanting to sell their property,” says ARLA.

“Our Private Rented Sector Report from September shows an increase in the number of landlords selling their buy-to-let properties and the figures are the highest we have on record for the month of September.”

Like the National Residential Landlords Association, ARLA is calling for the government in England to copy its Welsh counterpart and introduce a government-backed interest-free loan to help tenants clear their rent arrears.

Find out more about how to evict.


  1. When these tenants are eventually evicted, all landlords should check previous landlords references thoroughly and ask for evidence that rent has been paid up to date.

    It might be a good idea to add private rent to credit scores.

    • Tenants will have to produce certification of ‘good conduct’ from a previous landlord. If not, no new tenancy. A blacklist could be used for defaulters. Guarantors will become more popular. Homelessness will increase, more people will live rough. Renting is not profitable most of the time, and like any business the operators will have to be more selective who they have as customers. Either the government want the PRS to accommodate those who find securing accommodation difficult, or once again they will harm the very people they claim to protect with ill considered regulation, in this sector too.

      • Where does the ridiculous ARLA Propertymark get the idea that only recently tenants have been gaming the eviction process!?

        In case ARLA weren’t aware feckless rent defaulting tenants were costing over £9 billion in losses every year for LL years before CV19 came along.
        Most of the losses were caused by rent defaulting.

        These losses were under the older eviction process.

        With eviction scheduled to become even more difficult soon when Govt introduces new legislation LL could be facing effectively sitting tenants not paying rent and taking years to evict.

        Very few tenants can source anyone dumb enough to stand as guarantors for them and very few tenants or their guarantors could qualify for RGI.
        This means most LL will need to take a massive gamble on a tenant.

        Hardly a stable business model especially for those LL with mortgage commitments which is apparently 50% of the PRS.

  2. Landlords are being taxed out of existence. Now they can’t sell their properties due to being unable to evict tenants. One wonders how much longer they will tolerate this scenario.

  3. This situation should not come as any surprise. It is the inevitable conseqence of yet another ‘oven ready’ provision. In a recent exchange with a Council relative to an introduction of a licensing scheme, I mentioned this siuation in passing and the unsurprising reply from the Council was that it was not aware of it.
    Again, in an application for possession, I was extra careful to include a statement of the effect of the Coronavirus on the tenant and surprise surprise I received a reply to the effect that the case will not be considered unless and until I supply such a statement.
    All these consequences are from the provisions created by the Government. While this might chime well with a Government having a duty towards its citizenry, landlords are also part of that citizenry and should also be compensated as is done for other small businesses rather than being made the sacrificial lamb.

  4. It’s time the law favoured the landlord not the tenant.
    We are the mugs that pay the mortgage, buildings insurance, maintenance, repairs and renewals, to keep a roof over their head.
    We listen to the same old “l can’t pay my rent/top-up” excuses over and over again, as the tenant stands there in designer clothes with up-to date smart phone etc on route to the pub.
    Yes you all know the type of tenant l refer to.
    Tenancy agreements aren’t worth the paper they are written on.
    Section 8 & 21 are equally useless.
    At the end of the day it’s the judges decision, again at the landlords expense.
    After the eviction ban ends and the backlog of claims can eventually be heard.
    Meanwhile the arrears keep on rising.
    So come on government and local councils, get a grip and give us landlords the support we need !

    • Never gonna happen.
      Best thing to do is sell up and have mortgage free 2nd homes taking in lodgers.

      That is what I am doing.
      No S24
      NO problems removing rent defaulting lodgers.

      Tenants are now an extremely bad business model.
      Single unrelated lodgers are the way to go in residential LL homes.

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