As High Court Enforcement Officers we are enforcing Orders for Possession every week. We are a-political as you might expect from court officials. And we are interested in the debate on Government putting the blame on landlords for evicting tenants because it’s one of pillars of our heritage and announced plans to ban Section 21 so called ‘no fault’ evictions – to enforce court orders to recover possession.
So we read with interest research carried out with the RLA (Residential Landlords Association) which showed that 84% of landlords surveyed (out of a total of 6,000 landlords) sought a possession order because the tenant hadn’t paid the rent.
Not paying the rent is a ground for possession – and from our experience this is the most likely reason a landlord has resorted to the possession/eviction process. There is no judgment on a person’s situation here. Either they have paid the rent, or they haven’t. Our research in the debate also took us to this article on the grounds for possession and how the proposed review by Government – pre BoJo – creates a greater risk for landlords in deciding to rent out their property. The bigger social question is of course – why hasn’t the tenant paid the rent? We think Government should be analyzing this more carefully to ensure that private landlords continue to support the housing needs of people who need to rent. In our experience many of the landlords who come to us for assistance to carry out swift implementation of their possession order are not large corporates – but private individuals who are servicing a mortgage debt which is paid for by the rent. When the rent isn’t paid, the landlord goes into default.
Perhaps this is something that the new leadership of Government will consider ‘no-fault’ contractual notice with care and consideration – rather than playing a blame game with landlords who are after all enforcing their legal rights. This seems very loaded against landlords from our vantage point.