A recent survey of buy-to-let landlords has revealed that the cost of tenants taking poor eviction advice is becoming very costly.
Private sector tenants are often advised by local councils and agencies to ignore eviction notices that have been served by buy-to-let landlords. Instead, they are told to wait until evicted by bailiffs. This means they will qualify as homeless and eligible for rehousing.
Paying to remain
Latest figures from an investigation by the National Landlords Association reveal that the average total cost of a tenant being advised to stay put in a property following an eviction notice is £6,763.
What’s more, 47% of tenants who have been served a section 21 eviction notice by their landlord said that have been advised to ignore it, either by their local council or an advice agency. These include Shelter and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Buy-to-let landlords should continue to follow the correct eviction process.
These figures come as the National Landlords Association is about to give evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the Homelessness Reduction Bill.
The Homelessness Reduction Bill amends the Housing Act 1996 to further councils’ duties to stop homelessness by:
- making sure the section 21 eviction notices are proof that an applicant is faced with homelessness
- changing the definition of threatened with homelessness from 28 days to 56 days
The National Landlords Association has long campaigned against councils advising tenants to ignore eviction notices.
Richard Lambert, Chief Executive Officer at the National Landlords Association, said: ‘we have consistently campaigned on this issue, but despite many warnings to councils and agencies, this damaging advice is still being given out to tenants. Possession cases can take a very long time to resolve and aside from putting an unnecessary strain on everyone involved, not to mention the Courts, these findings demonstrate just how costly the advice can be.’
‘Bad or incorrect advice hinders rather than helps landlords and tenants who are often already in a desperate situation. It will inevitably damage landlords’ confidence in the local authority and tenants may be put at much greater risk of having nowhere to live. We hope this Bill will achieve its aims of reducing homelessness by giving tenants the support they need while incentivising the good work that landlords already do in communities across the country,’ he added.