United Kingdom

Agents advised to appoint dedicated eviction specialist to help landlords

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Evictions law – get specialist advice if you’re unsure

As lockdown – Season 2, the sequel no one asked for – gets underway in England, landlords, tenants and agents will be concerned over rental payments as people batten down the hatches and retreat indoors for at least the next month.

Details of the impact of the new lockdown are scant, but we already know that while housing courts and property businesses will remain open in England, evictions (bar a few special exceptions) won’t be enforced until at least 11 January 2021. The rules are different in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and it is vital that agents know what has changed since the start of the year.

Getting up to speed with all of the changes will take vital time away from agents, but to risk an eviction without complying with new legislation in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could expose agents and landlords to significant business risk.

If an eviction is necessary

Given the complexity of the eviction process, the difficulty getting court dates, the longer notice periods, the pledge not to enforce notices over Christmas and the laws passed since evictions last took place, evictions can add undue stress to letting agents and landlords. The need to ensure the process is handled fairly and correctly while also attending to the rest of the business can add to an already full plate.

In addition, while the above are crucial elements of the process, ensuring the accuracy of any information presented to the court or tribunal is just as essential and will also take time to prepare and verify.

To avoid these pitfalls, appointing a dedicated evictions specialist may be a better way of progressing any necessary evictions. In addition to managing the eviction they will also be able to keep agents fully informed and compliant with current legislation.

How PropTech can aid necessary evictions

Landlords, despite some claims in the media, are unlikely to want to pursue an eviction as their first response to tenant arrears. Those agents and landlords that are forced to evict may be required to provide evidence of rent arrears to any court or housing tribunal convened to hear the case.

This is where PropTech can help – especially if it can automatically record all rental payments and flag outstanding ones. With bank integration, these records can be accurate to the penny, giving the agent, landlord and tenant the complete picture when it comes to arrears. If an eviction does go to court, providing evidence of arrears amounts and dates should be as simple as printing off a report – instead of manually having to trawl through countless bank statements and e-mails to see when payments were made and when invoices were sent.

Making the process easier on everyone

The evictions process can be less stressful for all involved when armed with detailed records of payments made and missed, an accurate total arrears amount, and expert advice from evictions specialists who are au fait with current eviction laws.

Agents can manage the process at arm’s length, while landlords can be confident that it will progress as smoothly as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about how evictions-specialists Agent Smart and PayProp can help with arrears and evictions get in touch.

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