Tackling evictions

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The Bond Board is taking on a pending tsunami of evictions
By Thomas Ingham, Housing Adviser, The Bond Board Ltd

It’s common knowledge that Covid-19 has had a severe effect on the Private Rented Sector for both landlords and tenants. It has been estimated that over 174,000 tenancies have been threatened with eviction with 227,000 tenants in the UK admitting they are in rent arrears. Greater Manchester Combined Authority Leaders say they fear “homelessness could return to the streets of Greater Manchester on a scale not seen since the 1930s” if rapid and decisive action is not taken to avert a crisis. The legislation seems to be changing so regularly it is hard to keep up and as a result both landlords and tenants are struggling to understand what their rights are.

Tenants are also finding themselves more frequently in a position of financial insecurity which is often not only putting their tenancy at risk but potentially affecting the landlord’s finances too. Though the government has put large notice periods in place for most evictions, this does not solve the problem and only delays it. At some point there is potential for a large wave of private rented evictions to take place. We, at The Bond Board, have recognised this growing issue and we believe that tackling these issues sooner rather than later can prevent potential evictions.

With funding from The National Lottery and the Greater Manchester Mayoral Fund we have successfully put together a specialist housing advice service to tackle these issues within Oldham, Wigan, Rochdale and Bolton. We are offering 1 to 1 support with any private rented tenant living within these areas that are at risk of losing their tenancy and are on a low income. We will offer support with a variety of issues ranging from advice on legal possession notices and what their rights are, rent arrears, complex issues regarding illegal evictions and many more. We have partnered with the National Housing Advice Service and Shelter to assist us with any cases that demand additional specialist support to ensure that all our clients have the best chance of getting back on track.

For instance, in a recent case we offered support to we found that the Section 21 notice the tenant received was produced on the wrong document and therefore would have not been legal. This caused stress for the tenant and meant they could not go on a priority banding with their local housing provider. Through landlord and tenant mediation we managed to discuss the reasons for the eviction and we have helped manage the tenancy to a point where the eviction is no longer necessary. The landlord has been given advice on Section 21’s so that in the future both landlord and tenants have a clearer understanding. We hope we can ensure that we exhaust all options before any eviction and we can prevent a potential tsunami in evictions in the upcoming 12 months.

However, we also understand that a significant number of landlords have also been affected by Covid-19 and may be struggling with income or ever changing legislation. Thanks to funding from The Nationwide Foundation and their Fair Housing Futures project, we are offering support, advice and training to landlords who may need advice around their rights, information around Universal Credit, updates on changes to housing legislation and eviction proceedings. This is a valuable free service that can offer long term 1 to 1 support that is rarely available and continues The Bond Board’s objectives of a Private Rented Sector that works for all.

Thomas Ingham Bond Board for GM |Poverty Axction

Thomas Ingham

If you would like to refer to either of our services then please email and request a referral form. If you would like to spread the word to your colleagues or clients then please get in touch on the same email and we can send over both referral forms and leaflets for you to share, as well as answering any burning questions.

 

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