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Landlords take hit to support tenants

Article Posted - 21st May 2020

Struggling tenants facing difficulties as a result of coronavirus are being supported by landlords willing to take a temporary financial hit.

In all 44% of the 4,500 landlords surveyed by the NRLA had been asked for help by their tenants, and of those 90% had been able to provide it.

Support included rent reductions or deferrals, rent-free periods, early release from tenancies or refunds on service charges from HMOs.

More than half landlords told the association they had been affected in some way by the impact of the virus on tenants. A total of 54% were experiencing issues with tenants paying the rent, unexpected voids or a combination of both.

Of the landlords who said they were struggling with tenants falling into arrears 60% have lost at least a month’s income across their portfolio.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA said: “This research proves that the vast majority of landlords are doing everything possible to support tenants through difficult times.

“To suggest otherwise is needless scaremongering and serves only to heighten anxieties for tenants when we need a spirit of co-operation.

“We are continuing to work with landlords and the Government to sustain tenancies through the immediate crisis and beyond.

“As Ministers consider their next steps regarding the ban on evictions, they should not make it more difficult to take action against tenants who may be committing anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse, or where they are wilfully withholding rent which they can afford to pay.

“We need landlords who are going through a difficult time to have the confidence to stay in the market. Otherwise we are only going to end up with a worsening housing crisis as more tenants chase fewer properties.”

Positive stories of landlords going the extra mile have flooded in to the NRLA since the start of the pandemic. These include members who have included free or substantially discounted accommodation for NHS workers, and landlords pro-actively assuring tenants that their tenancy is not at risk.

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