My Property Box is advising landlords in the North East and parts of North Yorkshire that evictions involving properties in areas of higher coronavirus restrictions have been suspended.

While bailiffs are unable to obtain possession from tenants following a court order in properties situated in Tier Two and Tier Three areas, the eviction process is still able to proceed through the courts in readiness for when restrictions are eased.

It follows bailiffs’ trade body, the High Court Enforcement Officers Association, agreeing a request from justice secretary Robert Buckland not to carry out evictions in areas classified as having high or very high rates of COVID-19 infection.

There is a further agreement that possession orders will not be enforced over Christmas, between December 11 and January 11.

The National Residential Landlords Association is already pressing the UK government to introduce a hardship loan scheme to help tenants pay off any coronavirus-related rent arrears.

Ben Quaintrell, managing director of My Property Box, said: “We recognise this pandemic has presented challenges for landlords and tenants alike, although the majority of tenants continue to pay their rent.

“Likewise, landlords and letting agents have displayed a flexible attitude when necessary – but it is important to remember that many landlords have mortgages to pay and outgoings to meet.

“Evictions must remain a matter of last resort – for those rogue tenants who wilfully build up long-term debt or purposefully break tenancy conditions.”

To support its landlords, My Property Box is introducing a scheme from mid-November that guarantees rental income for six months, together with free legal cover.

Ben added: “If tenants do fall into arears, for whatever reason, it means landlords can still count on the income to meet mortgage payments while avoiding extra costs arising from penalties or interest charges due to missed payments.

“Letting agents already reduce the risk to landlords through robust vetting processes and credit checks but this rent guarantee scheme means they can look to the future with greater confidence.”