"Tenants, through no fault of the lender, often receive no notification of repossession proceedings as lenders are unaware of the existence of tenants in a property or who the tenants may be.
"Though ARLA, of course, welcomes any additional support for tenants in these tough times, the proposal to bring forward the planned extension of repossession notice to tenants will, in effect, be almost worthless because it comes at the wrong side of the repossession being granted.
"Tenants will receive up to seven weeks’ notice of an order being sought but that assumes that a repossession will be granted – and if it isn’t, and tenants walk away from the property, they will have walked away from a legally binding contract. It would be far more beneficial if the extended notice was granted after a repossession had been granted, which would allow tenants good time to find another property.
"Clearly, however, there is more to be done to protect tenants who are facing homelessness as a result of their landlords defaulting on mortgage payments – and ARLA will be advising the Government on the best way to do this in a budget submission in the next couple of weeks.
"One realistic solution would be for the Government to insist that local authorities take more action on the use of empty dwelling management orders to ensure that better utilisation is made of the housing stock in the country. ARLA calls on the Government to act quickly to mitigate the stress of tenants, as well as homeowners.
"ARLA also supports the many lenders repossessing a buy-to-let property that are allowing tenants to continue in occupation and are taking rent in receivership This should be encouraged as best practice wherever practical."
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