Warwickshire MP Matt Western has urged private landlords to let students off their rent for this academic year and possibly the next, and also return deposits, angering many landlords who feel politicians have abandoned them during the crisis.

Landlords in Warwickshire are less than impressed after a local MP wrote a letter on House of Commons letterhead urging them to let student tenants off paying rent for this academic year and the next. The missive also urges them to return rental deposits and waive any rent arrears created by the crisis.

Labour MP Matt Western who represents the Warwick and Leamington constituency has signed the letter alongside Tiana Holgate, the local NUS representative.

The letter says it has been sent out in the name of ‘thousands’ of students within the constituency who have ‘huge concerns, like many others, about how they are going to make ends meet’.

Western also argues that students should be considered for special treatment because many are unable to work in their spare time or during the holidays because most are employed in industries that have been closed down by the pandemic such as bars, restaurants and other hospitality businesses.

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Rent payments

“Students are now facing upcoming rent payments for properties they are not living in, and which many will not be able to afford,” the letter says.

“We firmly believe students should not be penalised financially for abiding by Government advice. Warwick University students living on campus have been released from their halls of residence contracts. It is only fair that all students are given the same right.”

Western and Holgate point out that private landlords should help because the government has given them mortgage payment holidays, while students have not so far received any specific financial help during the Coronavirus crisis.

The letter is aligned with Labour policy on rental payment waivers, which the party recently said should be made compulsory during the three months of the crisis.

Landlords who were sent the letter have turned to social media, describing it as a ‘joke’, ‘nonsense’ and pointing out that the payment holiday scheme does not help those without mortgages, and that almost all of the government business support schemes miss out landlords, who are classed as self-employed.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. What an irresponsible idea, as a landlord I have no profession I am not ‘self employed’ we are classified as investors so bad luck chum if you’ve invested and not getting a return. Why don’t we provide free accommodation free meals and utilities and give them some pocket money too! After all we are landlords we are so rich we can afford it! I think the term Landlord is extremely outdated a building is not surrounded by swathes of land and I doubt I’ll ever be a Lord unless I buy a square inch and get a certificate saying I can call myself one!! EZke up Matt, Tiana and the NUS, it doesn’t work like that.

  2. What a surprise he’s a Labour MP, like that idiot Corbyn, they will do anything for Votes and popularity.
    He should waive his pay for this Year and next and give it to the NHS.

    Why do the Press give these People any coverage, stupid suggestions like this just cause trouble.

  3. Once again nobody gives consideration to the fact that most landlords are not millionaires, and rely on rental income for their own living expenses. The government is not providing us with 80% o0f our lost income, so why are we expected to surrender 100% of our income to benefit students, who are still receiving their loan payments. Most universities stipulate that students need to ensure that their loans are sufficient to cover their rent and other living expenses, so they should be in a better position to pay than full time workers who have been furloughed.
    The suggestion that we also write off deposits, arrears and provide rent free accommodation is ridiculous, bear in mind also that many student landlords provide rent inclusive utilities, broadband etc.

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