Blogger says tenants with Coronavirus should get 3 months rent free!

Blogger says tenants with Coronavirus should get 3 months rent free!

9:26 AM, 5th March 2020, About 2 years ago 74

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Richard Murphy of Tax Research LLP, a Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City, University of London and regular columnist for, claims Landlords should bear the cost of Coronavirus and provide three months free rent to tenants who contract Covid-19.

Murphy claims: “As a matter of statutory right any tenant should be provided with a minimum three-month rent-free period to ease the stress upon them whilst this crisis last. I would suggest that the grant of that extension should be automatic to anyone who does not make a due payment of rent on the required date during the period of the epidemic. They should be automatically granted this extension by the landlord without having to make any further application or to complete any additional paperwork.”

“I stress that the cost of this will fall directly upon the landlords in question. I am quite deliberately suggesting that they should bear the heaviest burden of dealing with the epidemic. The reason is simple and is that whatever happens they will still have an asset at the end of this period, and no other sector can guarantee that at present. As a consequence they have the greatest capacity to bear this cost. And, if it so happens that some landlords do fail as a consequence, the assets that they have owned will still exist after this failure and so the economy can manage the consequences of this.”

Murphy goes on to suggest that the other group that should carry the burden of Coronavirus is the finance sector, but only by offering a three month extension to loan or mortgage payments and not the total loss he seems to wish upon Landlords.


Ian Narbeth View Profile

17:00 PM, 16th March 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Thomas at 16/03/2020 - 16:01
Yes Rob. As we are seeing some people without the virus are being lid off or asked to take unpaid leave. It's up to individual landlords but for the next few weeks I suspect there won't be a load of tenants clamouring to move. Certainly not into HMOs which is my specialism. If you are a BTL landlord and you do evict the tenant, how sure are you that the new tenant will not face the same problems.
Landlords should consider each case on its merits. I doubt Government will provide assistance beyond Universal Credit to tenants.

Dennis Leverett

17:56 PM, 16th March 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Thomas at 16/03/2020 - 16:01
Landlords should not pick up the cost but, and there's always a but, for those of us that have good tenants, if they are laid off or whatever because of this virus through no fault of their own we should help in any way can. I can't afford to write off the rent. For example agree a plan to repay any outstanding rent over a reasonable length of time that suits both sides. Virgin Airlines want their staff to take 8 weeks off with no pay, if Branson did that I would never use Virgin anything ever again. 18 months ago I had a serious accident which put me out of action for several months, when my tenants found out they offered to come and cut my grass, hedges etc. and help out. How I could I not help them in return. Sadly though I'm sure there are many scumbag tenants that will take advantage.

Rob Thomas

17:59 PM, 16th March 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 16/03/2020 - 17:00
Hi Ian

I think government may need to provide much more support for companies and individuals as this is a crisis that the market is not going to be able to cope with without help. The government may need to consider emergency assistance for the hospitality sector and its workers.


18:53 PM, 16th March 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Leverett at 16/03/2020 - 17:56
I can't afford to write-off the rent either. Neither can most landlords because their properties are mortgaged and they have other costs including insurance and maintenance. Most landlords only have a small portfolio of one or two properties.

Paul Shears

19:15 PM, 16th March 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Leverett at 16/03/2020 - 17:56
Well said. I have had many high calibre tenants and quite a lot of help has passed in each direction over the years.
Furniture & household effects in both directions. Additional help from tenants to myself and vice versa. Even Christmas presents!
This healthy social, rather than biological, symbiosis is unfortunately not the norm however and is severely frowned upon by conventional thinking. It comes down to how much you trust your own judgement and are prepared to accept the consequences of being wrong.


18:28 PM, 18th March 2020, About 2 years ago

Well - its just happened in this evenings press release !

Whiteskifreak Surrey

19:42 PM, 18th March 2020, About 2 years ago

According to NRLA messages the mortgage holiday will apply to BTL LLs too. But I have not seen that in the PM speech. I am terribly aware that the tenants will abuse it completely.
Another question - how this mortgage holidays will reflect in one's credit score?


15:33 PM, 19th March 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 18/03/2020 - 19:42
And is it going to let you off all your other obligations that result in your having to fork out as a landlord over that period because you cannot get the money out of your tenant any more except via rent? Are they going to allow you to invoice tenants for damage to your property over this period? Or invoice tenants for things that you are having to fix that the tenant is supposed to fix, but doesn't? Do you get a holiday on all that as well?


16:41 PM, 19th March 2020, About 2 years ago

I don't want to see my tenants drinking beers and other alcoholic beverages if they have no means to pay for essentials first, not going to give them any rent holiday if I see empty cans in the bins. If they can afford beers they can afford rent as well, its no time to party, its a war zone out there no and everyone's lively hood is on the edge. I will therefore be expecting my rent paid for sure. I still have to pay the bills, keep the heating on, and pay the Council tax for the HMO. I can't be more fairer than that. Yup if tenants have no means of earning their bread and roof over their head, yet they can afford to consume alcohol, it does not go well at all in my book of compassion.


17:13 PM, 19th March 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mike at 19/03/2020 - 16:41
Tenants will have the means to pay if they get a rent holiday. 🙂 It means they'll be able to go and buy beer in the Tesco checkout queue and in the pub where they can pick up coronavirus. Although that may not actually be a bad thing if they get infected and get it over with...

But how will tenants be diagnosed with coronavirus anyway? If we could identify who had already had it so that we knew who could go back to work that would solve an awful lot of problems. But we can't, because there aren't enough diagnostic tests. So however are they going to tell whether a tenant has coronavirus? They can't go to the doctor because the doctor won't see them...lots of GP practices (including my own) have now gone to telephone consultations only.

I wonder if they factored all that into their model. 🙂 Along with the fact that coronavirus was probably letting rip in China a long time before China owned up to it, that it's already widespread here, and the sooner we all get infected with it, get it over with and can get back to work the better. When would you rather have coronavirus? Summer or Winter? In winter everybody's doors and windows are closed and the hospitals are full with 'flu cases.

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