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Mayor is stoking tensions between tenants and landlords, says NRLA

The Mayor of London is causing needless fear for renters as he wrongly assumes that everyone in arrears due to COVID-19 is at threat of eviction, according to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA). The national body representing landlords has accused the Mayor of scaremongering when he claims that up to a quarter of tenants are in arrears and under threat of eviction.

With the courts due to begin hearing possession cases again from 24 August, following a five month suspension, the NRLA is pointing to new polling showing that 95% of tenants in London are either paying their rent in full or have reached an arrangement with their landlord to avoid arrears. This includes 83% who are paying their rent in full and on time. The remaining 12% of landlords have agreed for tenants to pay less rent or defer payment during the pandemic.

New rules being introduced will mean courts can adjourn possession cases where landlords have failed to demonstrate that they have fully taken account of the impact that the pandemic might have had on their tenants before seeking possession.

Ben Beadle, chief executive at the NRLA, said: “This has clearly been a challenging time for tenants and landlords across London. It is not in anyone’s interests to cause unnecessary anxiety for tenants through making wild predictions about people losing their home.”

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