Government must give clear statement on rental payments

by Property118.com News Team

8:51 AM, 6th April 2020
About A year ago

Government must give clear statement on rental payments

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Government must give clear statement on rental payments

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

Ingrid Bacsa

9:52 AM, 4th May 2020
About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 04/05/2020 - 09:47
Haha. Sorry but thats just hilarious.
No doubt its true.

Beaver

10:06 AM, 4th May 2020
About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Ingrid Bacsa at 04/05/2020 - 09:52
It is true: I doubt that anybody believes that if this carries on for any length of time that all those people who have been furloughed will still have jobs at the end of it. The government isn't just killing off this generation of employed and self-employed people, it is also destroying the jobs of the future. The lenders won't lend. They will just trouser the low interest rate money provided by the bank of England and shore up their balance sheets just as they did after the last financial crisis.

Ingrid Bacsa

9:24 AM, 5th May 2020
About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Beaver at 04/05/2020 - 10:06
Borrowing had just become a little easier prior to corona virus. Well if I cant remortgage i'll simply take off to a humble retirement in Greece and leave everyone to fight over my assets and evict my tenants. (Dreaming)

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