A quarter of landlords have lost rental income during the pandemic, a new YouGov poll conducted on behalf of the NRLA has found.
It asked over 1,000 landlords how Covid had affected them between March 2020 and September last year, discovering in addition that these landlords are twice as likely to be selling up their portfolios now, and that 36% of them intend to exit the market or sell parts of their portfolios.
Among the 23% of landlords who have lost rental income, this includes 11% who had negotiated rent reductions or temporary rent suspensions, eight per cent who had major issues with unpaid rents with at least one tenant and four per cent who had experienced an increase in empty properties during this time.
This, the NRLA warns, will further exacerbate the ongoing supply problems within the private rented sector and force up rents as tenants compete for properties.
The trade body also says this is further proof of the need to further help tenants get COVID related rent debts paid off to keep landlords in the market and tenants in their homes.
In October housing minister Eddie Hughes announced a £65 million rent payment support package for private renters facing eviction or homelessness ‘during the winter months’ and thanked landlords for their help supporting struggling tenants during the pandemic.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, says: “Today’s figures show the extent to which landlords have been hit by the pandemic as we have been warning over the last two years.
“With confirmation that those most affected are more likely to leave the market, it is vital that the rent debt crisis does not worsen the rental housing supply crisis we now face.
“As a matter of urgency, councils need to make use of the money they now have to help tenants get Covid rent debts cleared. Without this, renters face a bleak future of fewer properties to rent and, ultimately, higher rents.”