A poll of landlords by LandlordZONE has found the community divided on whether they should offer tenants relief from paying their rent if they catch Coronavirus or made redundant because of the related economic downturn.

Landlords are divided on whether to offer rent holidays for tenants following the Government’s radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by Coronavirus.

A LandlordZONE Twitter poll asking, ‘Landlords, would you give your tenants a rent holiday due to the impact of the Coronavirus?’ discovered that just over half – 52% – wouldn’t be offering this to tenants, while 48% would.

The latest Government announcement means there’s a freeze on new evictions and possession proceedings, but landlords do have the protection of a three-month mortgage payment holiday on buy-to-let mortgages where tenants are having financial difficulties.

- Advertisement -

Tenants around the country are now asking for reductions or breaks in rent payment, but landlord groups are warning that not everyone will have an inexhaustible capacity to cope with lost income. 

Chris Norris, National Landlords Association director, policy & practice, tells LandlordZONE that where landlords can access support, it’s recommending that these temporary savings are used to help struggling tenants through this difficult time.

But he adds: “We should not assume that landlords will be able to cover their costs if rent is not paid.”

Leicester Landlords Association is advising members to get as much documented information of employment as they can from a tenant, so together they can work out a payment plan while their income is reduced.

Chairman Tony Bhaur tells LandlordZONE: “We don’t know how many genuine cases there will be. We’re saying, I can live with the rent arrears, but you need to tell me how you’re going to repay it when your income is restored.”

And while the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) isn’t advocating that all landlords offer a rental holiday as all circumstances differ, policy manager John Stewart says landlords should be as flexible as possible where tenants are facing difficulties. 

“Many landlords and tenants are working well together with numerous positive stories coming to light of support being given to tenants in many ways.”

However, the RLA is also calling for further action to support tenants including scrapping the five-week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit and ensuring the Local Housing Allowance properly reflects rent levels.

Subscribe to LandlordZONE

7 COMMENTS

  1. Since the government is now going to pay 80% of the tenants wages, I see no reason why I should expect to have to wait for any more than 20% of the rent and in the meanwhile expect that a plan for payment will be agreed with the tenant.

    I am self employed. I can’t afford to give support to employed tenants when the government has seen fit to give me far less support than the tenant.

  2. Will 52% of landlords be spurning any mortgage payment holidays, then?

    Good to know LLs will be doing their bit for the economy and paying their lenders as usual. I assume. I mean, the alternative would be rank hypocrisy.

    • You realise that mortgage holidays only defer the repayments, they don’t cancel them out right? So why would this be relevant to a landlord whose tenant asks for not having to pay any rent at all for the next few months…?

  3. As I understand it, Landlords are now being TOLD to effectively give unsecured loans at 0% apr to any tenant. Is this correct or have I misunderstood?

    Although some banks may allow interest payments “holidays”, any unpaid interest will be added to the mortgage & accrue compounded interest over the life of the mortgage (eg if say £1500 of interest was not paid now, this would add £4600 to the landlords total mortgage bill at 4.5% over 25 years).
    Landlords are being told to “pass any savings to the tenant”, but surely there are no savings as deferring interest will actually cost a lot of money extra.
    How will landlords be helped to do this & again how will landlords pay for maintenance with an income?

  4. There is another problem almost related to coronavirus and it is effecting me, perhaps others too, as a landlord.

    My rented property had a water ingress, during the storms and heavy rains. By the time all problems solved a roofer was available, nat last, to visit the property and maybe carry out repairs, because of coronavirus, my tenant would not allow anybody into the house, as they have 3 children under 10.

    Both Parents are key workers and still working, shifts.

    What do I do if they want rent holidays ?

  5. We rely on the meagre rent that we receive after paying all the demands upon us to live. It is our retirement income. Why should tenants receive all this support when we do not.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here