Three month mortgage payment holiday extended to Buy to Let

by Property 118

18:45 PM, 18th March 2020
About 5 months ago

Three month mortgage payment holiday extended to Buy to Let

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Three month mortgage payment holiday extended to Buy to Let

The government has announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus. As a result, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.

Emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.

Recognising the additional pressures the virus may put on landlords, we have confirmed that the three month mortgage payment holiday announced yesterday will be extended to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulties due to coronavirus. This will alleviate the pressure on landlords, who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result.

At the end of this period, landlords and tenants will be expected to work together to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account tenants’ individual circumstances.

To support this announcement the government has worked with the Master of the Rolls to widen the ‘pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings, to include private renters and to strengthen its remit. This will support the necessary engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes and landlords will have to reach out to tenants to understand the financial position they are in.

The government will also issue guidance which asks landlords to show compassion and to allow tenants who are affected by this to remain in their homes wherever possible. The National Housing Federation and Local Government Association have welcomed the new support for social renters and made clear that no one should be evicted because of the coronavirus.

This important step on buy to let mortgages ensures parity of support, further to the announcement yesterday that the government made for private mortgage holders. We are also announcing that those who have benefited from a government backed Help to Buy equity loan will be offered interest payment holidays if they are struggling to pay due to coronavirus.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts.

“These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. Which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.

“These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”


David Atkins

9:58 AM, 19th March 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Atkins at 19/03/2020 - 09:12
They've now updated website and are offering payment holidays based on an individual basis. Interesting that mortgage companies are lagging behind the govt responses. I have landlord colleagues who have been told they won't be getting their rent this month (partly due to the information released to the media) and so landlords are understandably panicking.

Luke P

10:01 AM, 19th March 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Atkins at 19/03/2020 - 09:12
Similar with YBS/Accord...they're not sure what's what just yet.

Dave Jackson

10:06 AM, 19th March 2020
About 5 months ago

I haven't seen any sign of companies like FirstPort offering a payment holiday in respect of their, already, excessive charges for maintenance....???

Lesley Thomas

11:13 AM, 19th March 2020
About 5 months ago

I think what is needed is an understanding as to what are the circumstances surrounding each tenant making a Rent Holiday Request (RHR). Hard proof of their loss of employment/income is the first stage. I think without this, it may be difficult to substantiate a landlord's BTL mortgage holiday request to their lender (criteria's yet to be confirmed).
Some tenant's partners, spouse or joint tenants may still be in work, so they may be able to make a contribution towards some of the rent, leaving a lesser shortfall/arrears.
Then we need to establish what government support/benefits a "laid off" Covid-19 tenant can claim for under their circumstances?
Perhaps someone can create a tenants Rent Holiday Request means test form/template which the tenants complete? This would enable the Landlord to assess the tenant's circumstances in order to get a better understanding of the tenant's income and ability (if any) to seek any government-backed income support. At least both the tenant and landlord can enter into a structured dialogue as to how the Rent Holiday will be structured; to be reviewed on a weekly/bi-weekly or monthly basis.
Communication and a mutual understanding is key to ensuring the merits of each case will not create any problems for both the landlord and tenant further down the road.

Perhaps RLA and Shelter can try and talk to each other to create such a tenant's Rent Holiday Request form and also provide both tenants and landlords with further information and support on what help both parties can obtain and from where whilst we are in the middle of this pandemic? Hopefully, any BTL lender will be lenient on landlords whilst they work with the tenant. Without knowing what any BTL lenders criteria is going to be at the moment, the above tenant's RHR form (information) is at least a starting point to help the landlord gauge a better understanding of the tenants' circumstances. Ideally, the tenant, landlord and BTL lender can then all work together so we can all get through this pandemic, hopefully, unscathed with roofs still on.

Sarah Quinlan

11:28 AM, 19th March 2020
About 5 months ago

I agree with your comments Lesley. And I'm annoyed that the Govt has pushed this responsibility onto landlords as there will clearly be tenants who take advantage of the situation and others who panic eg I had 2 French students who have just upped and left without notice, but I'm not blaming them. It will of course be impossible to rent that flat out now as it's in London and no-one is doing viewings. In other cases I have HMO tenants working in retail, hospitality etc and their income is going to dry up - I think the Govt should be underwriting their income (eg through universal basic income payments).
Anyway let's use forums like this to stay in touch and share ideas on how we can limit the damage.

Liz Buckland

11:45 AM, 19th March 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Hardworking Landlord at 19/03/2020 - 07:37
I have the same issue as I served an S21 in mid February with an exit date of mid April, although the tenants aren't in arrears (yet) I just want to get out of the BTL market. At my age I don't need the stress!


15:08 PM, 19th March 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Hardworking Landlord at 19/03/2020 - 07:37I have the same situation. S21 issued in December and I gave them notice to move out at the end of March. Arrears have increased and I'm wondering where I stand with the moratorium on new evictions.

Richard Peeters

15:53 PM, 19th March 2020
About 5 months ago

I spoke to Topaz/Jasper (successors of Mortgage Express) earlier, and they don't have a clear position yet, either on process or evidence that might be required.

I can see a big problem in a HMO scenario (our main concern), if they need evidence from the affected tenants, because they might try to pro-rata the "mortgage holiday".
Now that the BOE rate has dropped to 0.1%, it would be far easier and more efficient for all, if the mortgage lenders simply gave this without red tape, as soon as a landlord applied for it, even in the HMO scenario with only one tenant in arrears or at significant risk of arrears.

Liz Buckland

16:44 PM, 19th March 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Hardworking Landlord at 19/03/2020 - 07:37
According to another LL site, I believe the situation is that NO New S21's should be issued, so those of us with them in place prior to the directive should be able to continue with the process already started.... if anyone has any other info please let us know.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

7:46 AM, 20th March 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Richard Peeters at 19/03/2020 - 15:53"... evidence that might be required". That is my main concern. That the Banks will want an evidence. Eg Dr's certificate of the tenant being ill. What about them losing a job? I have seen on FB a letter of an employer citing COVID as a reason for letting staff off. Do we have right to request that and show it to the banks? Personally we are registered with ICO, but I doubt it gives us any better position, or is even relevant.
What the others, more experienced people here think? Thanks.

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