Evictions and arrears will be lower than feared, say agents

Accreditation body safeagent has predicted that widespread evictions won’t happen once the ban ends on the 23rd August.

In a survey of safeagent firms across England, 36% of firms said they didn’t believe any tenants would be evicted when the ban ends, while a further 57% said it would be less than 10%.

When asked what the reason was those tenants would face eviction, agents said it was not down to arrears built up during the pandemic, but instead planned proceedings or non-payment of rent before March 2020.

Isobel Thomson, chief executive of safeagent, said: “These results show that the rhetoric emanating from lobbying groups around arrears and the likely number of tenants to be evicted as a result of their inability to pay rent, does not give the full picture.

“We know times are hard, but we also know how much good work is being done by agents and landlords to maintain tenancies. Agents are not seeing high numbers of tenants in arrears and they are reporting landlords being sympathetic and willing to work with their tenants to find solutions.

“safeagent is concerned about the rhetoric around evictions which does tenants no favours and only raises their levels of anxiety at an already difficult time. Instead of demanding a halt to all evictions, shouldn’t we all be working together to find solutions that support tenants to stay in their homes?”

In terms of arrears, 74% of agents said the proportion of their tenants who have not been able to pay their rent over the past three months was less than 10%, while 8% said none of their tenants were in arrears.

For those who are in arrears, most tenants were only behind by one or two months (42% and 44% respectively) while only 5% of firms said tenants had arrears of more than three months.