Evictions from rented homes have been temporarily halted during the coronavirus pandemic, and landlords aren't happy about it.
top-hatted twats residential landlords want to be able to kick their tenants out again, after the blanket ban was extended until the end of August because things are still terrible out there (yes, even though the pubs are reopening).
Chris Norris from the National Residential Landlords Association – who could not look more like a stereotypical landlord while talking to the Independent with suit, slicked-back hair and earpiece – told a parliamentary committee hearing yesterday:
"We don't think it should be extended. In fact I think at the moment there are certain cases that we could be getting some of the case management dealt with now.
When we've got those cases that have got absolutely nothing to do with the Covid crisis, those cases where in many many instances a possession order was actually granted prior to lockdown - we don't see any reason why we couldn't start opening up the system so that they could be progressed now as lockdown is being lifted."
I'll give you the reason why, Norris: because there's a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. Thousands of people have lost their jobs, their security and their health, and are thus even less able to manage the upfront rent, massive deposits and huge upheaval of moving house than they are normally.
The fact is, if you're in the position of owning a home that you can let out, you're in a position of pretty big privilege – always, but especially right now. Just sit on your hands for a bit and don't take people's roofs from their heads, k?
At the same hearing, Caitlin Wilkinson from Generation Rent commented:
"While the immediate public health effect of coronavirus is subsiding to a degree, the economic impact is only just starting to be felt. So if nothing else is put in place, what you're going to get is huge numbers of tenants who are unable to pay their rent and will lose their homes as a result."
Housing charity Shelter added that it is "not calling for rent forgiveness but rather for a welfare benefit system that ensures people can cover the cost of their rent." Their rent, aka their landlord's mortgage payments and/or spending money. Heart bleeds for them, doesn't it?
Wilkinson also reminded the government that they promised to put an end to unfair evictions where the tenant wasn't at fault. The ruling class – many of whom are landlords – have already said they'll be bringing Local Housing Allowance back up to 2010 levels, meaning the lowest third of properties in a given area will be covered. That's not as good as the 50 per cent covered in 2008 when it was introduced, but we'll take what we can get.
Honestly, when your landlord group looks harsh to tenants next to the bloody Conservatives, you should perhaps take a look at your beliefs and have a word with yourself. [Independent]