Government must give clear statement on rental payments

Government must give clear statement on rental payments

8:51 AM, 6th April 2020, About 2 years ago 63

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The NRLA are calling for a clear statement from government in response to campaigners’ calls for rent payments to be stopped during the coronavirus crisis.

More and more landlords are contacting the National Residential Landlords Association saying their tenants are under the impression they no longer have to pay rent as a result of the pandemic.

The association is now asking government to clarify its guidance; that rents should continue to be paid where possible.

Some tenants believe that because lenders have provided the option of a three month mortgage payment holiday to landlords, they should not pay rent for this period.

Groups including the National Union of Students are also campaigning for rent breaks for tenants.

While the NRLA believes flexibility is necessary during these unprecedented times, it is calling on the Government to better publicise its guidance that tenants must still meet their legal and contractual obligations where they can – including paying rent – to dispel any myths.

Speaking for the NRLA, its 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.

“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.”

Given that 94% of private landlords rent property out as individuals and 39% have reported a gross non-rental income of less than £20,000, many depend on the extra rental income for their livelihood. Without this rent many would be unable to continue letting property, leading to a housing supply crisis when the epidemic eases, particularly for students returning to university.

Tenants are able to make use of assistance provided by the Government to replace lost income if need be including through the Job Retention Scheme, increased housing support through the benefit system and maintenance loans which continue to be paid to students.

The NRLA has called on landlords to show as much flexibility with tenants as they are able to within their means and has been heartened by the many stories showing tenants and landlords pulling together at this difficult time. This has included landlords offering properties rent free for NHS workers where they afford to do so.



Comments

by Matarredonda

9:44 AM, 7th April 2020, About 2 years ago

Massive problem. Since the person who was moving out cannot do so, I assume they can continue paying you on a month to month basis?
The other tenant have they been furloughed because if so, they can pay something and maybe even as much as 80%.
Fortunately my two tenants have been with me for a number of years so do at least have a conversation and both told me when making the payment at the end of March they had been furloughed.
The issue now is, how much will one in particular pay, as he relies for roughly 40% of his income on commission and this is not included in the Gov scheme.

by Beaver

10:28 AM, 7th April 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Matarredonda at 07/04/2020 - 09:44
I'm sorry but I may have misunderstood UC. I thought that the idea of UC was that it made work pay. So if he can only get 40% of his income, is he not entitled to a top-up from UC?

I know that still creates a cash-flow problem but in the end if someone on here has a better idea of how UC works it might be that they know how to get the rent paid, even if it's only in a couple of months time.

by Digger

11:35 AM, 7th April 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Matarredonda at 07/04/2020 - 09:44
Unfortunately my tenant will be leaving as they are moving from London to Birmingham. My only hope is that the current tenant in the Birmingham property stays put for the time being until the lockdown is removed. My other tenant has just paid me 60% of their rent and promised to pay the balance in 3 weeks. At least it’s something. Fingers crossed. Sounds like you’ve got a tough one with your tenant receiving commission earnings.

by Beaver

12:42 PM, 7th April 2020, About 2 years ago

This will not apply to every landlord on property 118, but it will apply to some. See this link:

https://www.property118.com/am-i-self-employed/

For some of you your earnings will qualify as self-employment income. There is support promised for the self-employed, but not until June.

by Ingrid Bacsa

16:15 PM, 7th April 2020, About 2 years ago

It HAS created a different crisis. Just moaning. Folks but ...

Landlords are not "lords" yet the name invokes beliefs from tenants that we are are powerful and rich. And from the government that we are responsible for housing, safety and security of the unemployed, the sick, the alkies and the druggies and anyone at all that needs a place to live - for the rest of their lives their welfare will become our responsibility. Meanwhile we must follow the government's 3000 plus increasing regulations, and be guardian angels to our tenants because council's did not want social housing responsibility and the expenses of maintaining their council estates. Instead, We landlords must up the standards of our homes, pay increasing taxes and be ignored by parliament as if we are morons. And we cant just walk away next month. After all, we are responsible for our tenants and responsible to our lenders. We should be re-named, any suggestions? Happy days and keep safe

by Beaver

16:22 PM, 7th April 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ingrid Bacsa at 07/04/2020 - 16:02Quite right. The majority of landlords only have a couple of properties. Even for those with more it may be the case that it is their only source of income. Many people invested in property to supplement their pensions; for some it is their only pension, for many it's a big chunk of it. For many self-employed people it is a part of their income and the self-employed are getting no help yet. But their property is also often what they use to raise finance for their businesses.
And yes, you still have your costs. So if my tenant decides not to take out the bins as happened before what do I do now? Before when the rubbish was spilling all over the garden and through into the neighbours' property I just cleared it up to avoid a disagreement with the neighbours. I did it because I cannot invoice the tenant for anything; all I could do was issue a notice to quit (which I could not do now). Having had a few incidents like that I politely told the tenant that I was having to pay for things that I should not have to pay for; then I bumped the rent up a bit to help recover the additional cost of the things that should be done by the tenant because they are the tenant's responsibility under the AST, and hoped that they would get the message; look after the property, pay the rent on time, don't upset the neighbours. What we all want.
So what do I do now if the tenant doesn't take out the bins? I can't go to the council dump as I did before because the dump is closed. I can't go to the property without 24 hours notice and even then because of Covid19 I may not be allowed to at all.
And that's what life is now like for the majority of us landlords. You can't invoice your tenant...the only thing you can do is put the rent up a bit. You still have your costs but your ability to do anything about them is dramatically reduced. So if the government suggests to tenants that they don't have to pay the rent, that's grossly irresponsible. It's an attack on private businesses because often those businesses are not stand-alone, they are linked to what finances other sources of employment or self-employment. It's an attack on pensions because many people use these properties as their pensions.
As for those landlords for whom it is their only source of income I am assuming that their ownership of property would not exclude them from eligibility for Universal Credit. Because if that were the case, given that their income has been taken away from them through no fault of their own, this would be shameful.

by Kathy Evans

17:20 PM, 7th April 2020, About 2 years ago

If you have more than one property or have savings (over a small limit) you are not eligible for UC.

by Beaver

17:23 PM, 7th April 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Kathy Evans at 07/04/2020 - 17:20
By that do you mean more than one BTL? Or another property besides your PPR?

by Kathy Evans

13:03 PM, 8th April 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by JJ at 07/04/2020 - 17:23
A property that is not your principal private residence

by Beaver

14:21 PM, 8th April 2020, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Kathy Evans at 08/04/2020 - 13:03I think by that you mean that if you have *one* BTL property as well as your PPR then that *one* BTL means that you would not qualify for UC.
So if you were e.g. a pensioner or self-employed person relying on 1-2 buy to let properties to supplement your income then you would not qualify for UC.


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