The departure of almost all students from UK universities and colleges back to their parental homes for possibly several months has led to concern from agents and landlords.
In one city, Nottingham, a local buy to let trade body says it’s trying to look at solutions to avoid landlords running into debt.
Local media in Nottingham says that the East Midlands Property Owners Group represents around 600 landlords in the city; the group has expressed worries that there are no effective sanctions to fight tenants who choose not to pay rent or who trigger anti-social behaviour as possession orders are ceased until June.
Giles Inman, business development manager at EMPO, has told the Nottingham Post: "We are getting students contacting landlords saying they are moving back to their parental homes and some of the students are saying 'do they need to pay any more rent?'
"A tenancy agreement is a legal contract. If the landlord pursues the student, well, we do not want to go down that road. It is all about being in it together."
He says measures are welcome to help those financially disadvantaged by Coronavirus but warns that the system is open to abuse.
"If a tenant does not pay rent there is nothing you can do. You are dead in the water as a landlord. What we are concerned about is the potential abuse, that people might say they are ill when in fact they are not.
"There is nothing the landlord can do in evicting the tenant because the courts will not provide them with a possession order. The way the proposals are right now it can be subject to a lot of abuse.
"A lot of landlords have mortgages to pay."