Report just out from outgoing shadow Chancellor John McDonnell goes much further than the government’s measures and says UK should copy New Zealand.

Landlords should be willing to accept a drop in their income to prevent renters from losing their homes during the Coronavirus crisis, says Labour.

The party believes new Government measures to prevent landlords from starting eviction proceedings during the next three months don’t go far enough and is calling on ministers to look at a New Zealand-style plan to freeze residential rent hikes for the next six months.

A new report from the party’s outgoing Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, says the Government’s plea for landlords and tenants, “to come to arrangements where necessary” is insufficient.

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It adds: “Where necessary, rent payments should be suspended for a three-month period to enable people to feed themselves and their loved ones, and to avoid driving people into destitution; at a time of widespread job losses and wage cuts of at least 20%, it is not unreasonable for landlords – many benefiting from a mortgage holiday – to prepare for small declines in their regular income.”

Launching the new report, which Labour calls ‘a constructive set of proposals’, McDonnell says: “As we move into the next stage of this crisis, which we are all working so hard to tackle, we have to build into our social protection system the resilience we need to deal with the growing strain on our economy and public services in the coming days.” The report, Protecting People in and Out of Work, also calls for increased benefit levels and a moratorium on utility bill disconnections.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. One way or another this is all going to come to a crunch, if the shut down continues.
    No wage -> no rent -> no mortgage payments -> no dividends -> share price falls

    Someone always takes the hit. Like pass the parcel. The buck must stop somewhere.

  2. If tenants have a 3 month rent suspension how am I, as a landlord, going to be able to pay my bills and feed myself and my family?
    How will I be able to pay for any repairs on the properties? What about the insurance? What about the gas certs etc? If there’s no money coming in for 3 months I’m not going to be able to carry out my legal obligations.
    No wage-no rent = potential money claim and ccj, followed by eviction asap.
    There is no excuse for not paying your rent when you’re completely dependent on benefits, or most of it when you’re getting 80% wages.

  3. If your income ceases, one cannot pay money one does not have.
    If my tenant lost his job, I’d suggest he should get some assistance from the Department of Social Security
    and I’d guess he’d get some help towards his rent, and I think I’d be willing to take whatever payment he might get, and come to some arrangement for dealing with the arrears by easy instalments when all this is over.
    Unfortunately, Berlingogirl, I think you may find that the tenant’s covenants and landlord’s covenants are independent, which means that failure to pay rent doesn’t necessarily absolve you from your responsibilities. But fortunately, I’m in the happy position that, for me, it’s not the case that, if my tenant doesn’t pay rent, I don’t eat. I know. It’s easy to be compassionate when you can afford to be.
    But like King Lear in the play of that name, I have one part of my heart that’s sorry yet for a tenant who
    loses his income.

  4. Berlingogirl,

    Ultimately you would need to sell your property.
    Someone will buy it, if the price is low enough.
    The sitting tenant will be the new buyer’s problem.

    I expect to see some large cash buyers coming in to buy up properties from distressed landlords. Yes, there’s a risk buying properties they can’t physically view, but in reality large buyers getting hold of diversified portfolio of properties at low prices reduces their risk on individual properties.

  5. John McDonald. What a twit. He has no compassion for private landlords.
    I give my tenants a very fair deal and would not consider a rent increase.
    This is tough on all of us.M. Reilly

  6. The looney far right and the looney far left not recognising that landlords are people with expenses and debts too. Both these looneys are very, very short sighted and this will lead to some disaster for all.

  7. As usual, it would left for the working /midddle-class to pick up the slack. Not all multiple property owners are tax dodging elites.

    The government need to force the banks to take the hit. Then it can be passed to landlords, then to the tenant.

    When the banks we’re in crisis, of their own making, we, the tax payer bailed them out, whilst they continued to pay massive dividends and bonus’. We got nothing repaid and nothing to show for our ‘tax’ investment.

    Now we need all some help, the bank refuses to come to the table with any offer except one than what will effectively make them more money, by not freezing the interest accruals.

    Stop making the middle/working-class pick up the slack and go after the people/business that can afford to help!

  8. Berlingogirl has got it spot on.
    For some landlords, their property portfolio income is their pension income, or only income if they are not yet of pension age.
    Landlords still have costs during the crisis & mortgage payments & whilst they may be able to take mortgage holidays they are referral referrals, the proposed rent holidays are real loss of income.
    LUDICROUS!!!

  9. The Man is an idiot, as a previous comment, Tenants are going to get support one way or another, so there is no excuse not to Pay the rent. I have already put all rent increases on hold for at least a Year and would be reasonable with any “Good” Tenant who was in difficulty.
    We certainly don’t need the input of a Socialist Clown, who like Corbyn will do, say, and give anything for Votes and popularity.

  10. Perhaps John McDonald would like to forego the very generous pension he will recieve for being an MP. If he expects landlords to take a hit, why shouldn’t he.

  11. And this is why Labour lost so badly at the election. Deluded, ridiculous unworkable polices. Why McDonald and Corbyn are still leading a party after one of its worst showing, demonstrates the sheer arrogance of these individuals. If they had a shed of decency they would have resigned with immediate effect, but no, they cling on under the guise of awaiting for a new leader to be voted in. Always keen to spend other peoples money, and never looking at tomorrow. If you give renters three months ‘rent free’, Landlords are still obliged to maintain the property, which is difficult with no money coming in. So called Mortgage holidays, still come with interest, so a short term benefit maybe, but a long term cost definitely. I believe Margaret Thatcher wrote, The problem with socialism, is sooner or later you run out of other peoples money.

  12. It is not just the cost of maintenance, repairs and various certificates that the Landlord has to still fork out for, those of us with student tenants also generally have to include the provision of utilities in the rent. We are not getting a break from that, and if tenants are still going to be paid 80% of their salary why should they expect to pay 0% of their rent.

  13. Clearly it depends on how much their salary is 80% of £100k is very different than 80% of £15k.. people have to eat and pay other bills you know. Rents have increased year on year and not everybody’s salaries have kept pace with the increases.

    Ok, so fine people are losing 20% of their income… reduce the rent by 20%, how many landlords are going to do that?

    The cost of maintenance really are you serious, Its your property so its your responsibility to maintain it, it is for your own benefit not the Tenant.

    Landlords wants the Tenants to pay for pretty much everything in most cases by passing the costs in rent increases.

    I don’t have an issue paying landlords a reasonable rent to live in decent accommodation, but nowadays the rents are no longer reasonable neither do they want to undertake reasonable repairs. They just want Tenants to be quiet and to continue paying them and be grateful… that they got a roof over their heads.

    It’s time that they brought in rent controls and abolished s21 to prevent revenge evictions.

  14. I fall between all the gaps. I lost my job in October so not an employee. I’m trying to start a business but only been doing that since January so no profits only expenses and it’s dependant on face-to-face. I did 4 days supply teaching and then they shut the schools. I can’t claim any of the government grants and there is nothing for a sole trader. I don’t qualify for universal credit because my husband is working (we can’t survive on his salary alone – I was the main wage earner). We’ve used up thousands of savings refurbishing our property after our last tenants moved out (before I lost my job!) and just on day-to-day living. My property has been empty since Sept 2019 and we did not raise the rent in the last two years. Only yesterday did I verbally agree a tenancy for some health workers. We need this rent to be putting food on the table for our family of four. Why should I give a rent holiday to people in work when I am not?

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