Tenants have been telling landlords that they don’t need to pay their rent for at least three months during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s been claimed.
The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) said that landlords are getting in touch to tell them that tenants aren't going to maintain their rents.
These tenants have assumed that the three-month mortgage payment holiday for affected landlords translates to an automatic rent payment holiday for tenants.
Because of this confusion, the NRLA has called on the government to clarify its guidance and for tenants to pay their rents where possible.
The NRLA’s chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: “The mortgage repayment holiday is only available for landlords who are struggling to make their payments because their tenants are unable to pay part or all of their rent as a direct result of the coronavirus and through no fault of their own.
“It is not an automatic payment holiday and landlords who successfully apply still have to make these payments later on. It is not a grant.”
He added: “What it does allow is that where a tenant is having genuine difficulty in meeting their rent payment because of a loss of income, landlords have much greater flexibility to agree a mutually acceptable plan with the tenant to defer the rent due.
“This is not a green light to tenants everywhere to stop paying their rent.”
The association went on to warn that many landlords earn less than £20,000 gross a year from their property investments and so rely heavily on the rental income for their livelihood.
Without this rent, they may be unable to continue letting property, potentially leading to a housing supply crisis when the pandemic eases, the association said.
The government is able to help tenants replace lost income through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), increased housing support through the benefit system, and maintenance loans that continue to be paid to students. There's also the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEIS) if tenants work for themselves.
The association has called on landlords to offer as much flexibility to tenants as they are able to within their means.
It has also commended those tenants and landlords who are pulling together at this difficult time.
These joint efforts have included landlords offering properties rent-free for NHS workers, where they can afford to do so.
How have you been supporting your tenants during the coronavirus crisis? Let us know in the comments below.
Looking for the latest news and features to help you stay ahead? Sign up for our monthly newsletter and get the inside track on the issues that matter to you.Sign up now
We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer
22 April 2020 • 2-minute read
While information on the coronavirus pandemic is continually changing, there are a few clear ways the outbreak is affecting landlords…
6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG
Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ
© Copyright 2022 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.