Thu Nov 18th, 2021 is Occult Day, Housing Day, Beaujolais Nouveau Day, Mickey Mouse Day… and much more besides my cousins birthday!
November is an odd month, isn’t it?
In many locations, the trees are already bare and the days are becoming ever-shorter. Winter will be upon us soon… snow, ice, cold. A few sunny days interspersed with wind, strangely bright cold days, grey skies. It gives us time to slowly let go and prepare for winter.
Research into pandemic rent arrears published
Back in July I sent a link out from the Scottish Association of Landlords to take part in research being carried out by the University of Glasgow into how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected landlords. The research sought to identify how landlords have dealt with arrears, gauge views on the effectiveness of temporary legislation and support schemes, and identify intentions as we emerge from the pandemic.
The research report, which cites SAL data on tribunal evictions pre and mid pandemic, has now been published and can be read here. I have attached the full report as a PDF as well.
The report concludes that the pandemic has had a significant impact upon the Private Rented Sector (both tenants and landlords) and that while UK wide fiscal support measures have allowed most tenants to continue to pay their rent as normal, part of the burden of sheltering tenants from the impacts of the pandemic has been borne by landlords in the form of unsustainable mounting arrears.
Among the researchers’ recommendations is that notice periods should be returned to their pre-pandemic position from March 2022 as the current timeframe for evicting a non-paying tenant “appears to be disproportionately unfair to landlords”.
Many of the temporary measures are not slated to expire until March 2022, around two years after some were introduced. The question now is how we ‘unwind’ this situation, navigating a return to more normal conditions in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) sector without leaving large numbers of tenants at high risk of eviction, and without leaving large numbers of landlords shouldering substantial pandemic arrears. The report identifies the volume and value of rental arrears; the arrears management approach adopted by landlords; landlord intentions regarding evictions; and landlord financial resilience levels. Drawing on these insights, the report suggests measures to try to release the tensions stored up by the temporary legislation.
Findings will be shared with UK and Scottish Government policy makers, local councils and service providers to allow them to make data led policy decisions and effectively plan the resources required to support both landlords and tenants.
Tenant and Landlord Covid-19 Loan Support schemes
Given the ongoing uncertainty around recovery from the pandemic, the Tenant Hardship Loan Fund and the PRS Landlord (non-business) Covid-19 Loan support schemes have continued beyond 31 March 2021. For details of both schemes please see the following links:
Tenant Hardship Loan Fund: https://tenanthardshiploan.est.org.uk/
PRS Landlord (non-business) Covid-19 Loan Support scheme: https://covidlandlordloan.est.org.uk/
Continue the provision of additional financial support for tenants offered by the Scottish Government but monitor demand closely as the scale of the fund (currently £10m) appears very small in comparison with the scale of rent arrears (estimated £126m).
Please find attached the Glasgow Property Letting Communication procedure. We are all still working remotely and emails should be sent to email@example.com. 0141 221 3990 is our office numbers and any messages left on that number are also emailed through, calls being recorded for training and monitoring purposed.
If you have any statement queries, please email into firstname.lastname@example.org as the maintenance team can pick the query up from there.
I have amended the accounts statements with a reminder that email@example.com is not a manned email address, as indicated by the automatic reply and any messaged sent to that address will not be seen.
Landlord with Scottish Gas home care agreement contracts have reported that the prices are going up and that Scottish Gas are still on a restricted call out, as you may remember earlier in the year their engineers ere on strike due to pay disagreements so things may not be quite back to a routine yet. The Scottish Association of Landlords and indeed some of our landlord clients currently have contracts with https://saltire.co.uk/service-plans/. Some landlords like to have a plan in place, and the link takes you to their plan page with costs.
As you are aware Christine is leaving Glasgow Property letting and from next weekend her email address will no longer be active. As always, please send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have my flu jag this weekend as well as my covid booster. I am sure I will be fine. My son had his flu nasal vaccine at school last week and assured me that “its no big deal, you’ll be okay and we will have ice-cream afterwards and a movie/duvet day.”
Making sure his mum is spoilt and loved in the way a 12 year old does!
Take care and stay safe.
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