The landlords’ newly-merged trade body has renewed its call for the government to do more to help the private rental sector during the Coronavirus crisis.
The National Residential Landlords Association says not all landlords have a mortgage and therefore will be unable to secure a buy to let mortgage holiday, as pledged by government. The association therefore wants:
- a recognition that all but emergency repairs and maintenance where there is a threat to the safety of tenants or the habitability of the property will be postponed until such time that normal business may resume. This would require a national policy of suspending enforcement action by councils and others, not least to prevent the spread of the virus. A piecemeal council by council approach is not sufficient;
- pausing any new payments to councils for licensing schemes;
- waiving costs charged by superior landlords for blocks of flats, such as service charges, and ground rent charges in relation to leasehold properties.
“Everything possible needs to be done to support the incomes of tenants affected by the crisis. That means a suite of measures to ensure benefits can be paid swiftly, and that they properly cover the costs of rents” says the association.
“This needs to be matched with further measures to reduce the costs faced especially by landlords without a mortgage. This would provide them with greater flexibility to work with tenants struggling as a consequence of the virus.
“We recognise the concerns that many landlords and tenants will still have and are working closely with the government to ensure they are addressed.
“In the meantime we thank landlords who are supporting their tenants at this difficult time.”