Unusually candid lettings agent cuts through the arguments over rent waivers, arrears and evictions with a common sense approach to helping both his tenants and landlords. Would you be won over?
Meet the lettings agent who has adopted an unusual business strategy to get his tenants and landlords through the crisis.
Boris Drappier, founder of online agency Rent Happily in Bristol, believes tenants don’t need to be burdened with rent arrears while landlords can still get their rent in the long run if they apply for a payment holiday.
One-third of Rent Happily’s tenants have seen their income dwindle and are struggling to pay rent, so Drappier has been working with his landlords to cook up a solution, acting as a go-between tenants, landlords and mortgage lenders.
Consequently, some of his landlords have granted a blanket three-month rent relief, while others have gone for a monthly renewable agreement.
He adds that while they have the right to claim their rent arrears, given the circumstances, they are unlikely to get them back, and could face even greater costs finding new tenants in an insecure rental market.
“If the tenant is facing hardship, increasing their burden with rent arrears is going to help neither the tenant nor the landlord. Instead of passing the rent arrears onto a single tenant, it should be passed onto the tenancies until the term of the mortgage is over,” he says.
Drappier explains that after one landlord won a three-month break on their £700 pcm mortgage payments, he temporarily lowered the rent from £950 to £250 a month – the rental income he would normally receive on top of the mortgage payment, so he didn’t lose out.
He tells LandlordZONE: “It might be unusual, but our landlords have done this after careful consideration. They have a good relationship with their tenants and have been taking the long-term view as they want to keep them. And while some have had to give proof of their tenants’ financial situation, some haven’t – it depends on the lender.”