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Pressure building to help private tenants hit by Coronavirus

One of the lettings sector’s leading trade bodies has called on the government and lenders to agree a package of measures to support tenants and landlords affected by Coronavirus.

In a joint statement, the Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association says: “We are encouraging all landlords to work positively with tenants to provide support where needed throughout this difficult period. Landlords should be as flexible as they can to help tenants facing payment difficulties resulting from the impact of the coronavirus.

“To support landlords in this we are calling for a package of measures from government and mortgage providers. 


“This includes a temporary scrapping of the five week wait before Universal Credit claimants get their first payment, pausing the final phase of restricting mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax and ensuring lenders look sympathetically on requests by landlords for mortgage payment holidays where their income is being affected through reduced or non-payment of rent.”

Meanwhile the Scottish Government is “actively considering” measures to prevent tenants from being evicted as a result of financial hardship created by the Coronavirus - and the housing minister there agrees. 

Scottish Housing News reports that the housing minister in the SNP administration, Kevin Stewart, has already received a campaign petition calling for such a policy. 

The petition also asks for tenants affected by coronavirus to be granted a rent holiday and collections paused, including for those unable to work or who need to self-isolate.

The campaigners - in a group called Living Rent - say on their website: “We want to see that this crisis does not make life harder for those that are already suffering under austerity, universal-credit reforms and skyrocketing rent.

“While bankers, landlords and mortgaged homeowners are being supported, the silence of the government regarding tenants and their needs is shocking.”


“This is part of our urgent consideration on what wider measures can be put in place to support people against the economic impacts of coronavirus and further announcements will be made.

“People affected by coronavirus who are concerned about paying their rent can claim Universal Credit from the Department for Work and Pensions which includes support for housing costs, if eligible. The UK Government has introduced some temporary changes to make this easier.”

Yesterday the anti-agent campaign group Acorn made a similar call in England.

  • icon

    I hope the utility companies will also give a holiday to HMO landlords. And to me of course as I won't be able to pay the utilities on my home if my tenants aren't paying their rent. I guess we should also apply the idea to the supermarkets too, and the petrol stations, and let's not forget HMRC, and.....

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    The Govt might as well say, 2020 has been postponed until further Notice, during which time 'Everything is Free' [ fill your boots ]
    Its indefensible to say some people have to give Free services, whilst others do Not. !
    If the Govt are foolish enough to try to take such a Rent-Freebee approach, Landlords via their Associated bodies ( if they were more use than a chocolate fire-guard ) should be taking the Govt to court over the illegality and Breach of Human Rights.

  • Matthew Payne

    The rent roll for 3 months is £4 billion. The only way this could work is if the government has the appetite to underwrite arrears when any payment holiday concluded. Many tenants would remain in arrears, some would be opportunistic and choose to. Moreover, they would be passing legislation to interfere in existing legally binding contractual arrangements between 2 parties, that would have a knock on effect in the supply chain. The lawyers would need to pour over the implications of such a move for weeks and no doubt be challenged in the courts, so it is not somehting I can see coming to pass anytime soon unless of course the Sunak cheque book is happy to cover everyones losses.


    And you try getting a matter into the courts. Money says they will be closed to all but the most brutal of crimes. It will be driven by self isolation. The courts are just not big enough to get 12 good men and true to be 6' apart (notice I don't say 2 m since we are out of the EU we can revert to feet and inches, miles and not kilometres ponds and ounces and not kilograms)

  • Roger  Mellie

    Agencies that take their PM money on the monthly are at risk if too many tenants cannot pay their rent either. Everyone's affected,

  • icon

    This has article has been superseded by events but payment holidays make good media sound bites but no rent or deferred rent means no income into letting agents. How many will survive 3 months+ on a severely depleted income stream? How many landlords will continue to pay a management fee to ensure their property is properly managed even though no rent is coming in? Maybe we will see a change in agency terms that require landlords to pay for work completed not based on rent collected - but only from those that are able to survive the fiscal drought

  • icon

    Any help for kind of rent Iwith bills inclusive? where the landlord pay all utilities?
    I am also a no resident landlord and tenants want to stay without paying the rent, but I will not have the money to pay all the bills, even council tax and service charges, I am paying all bills, no one left, also internet connection (considering that I am also paying a huge major work bill I am really down to any possible solution on how to help them. Also they are that kind of tenants that I will never give any reference to other... saying they just stop the rent 10 days ago without any notice either. Please help. Thanks

    PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Silia, In these unprecedented times, I am occasionally and selectively offering some Pro-bono advice to Landlords stuck in the C19 situation.
    If you'd like to contact me ( with the Hosts permission ? ) here are my details enquiries@PossessionFriend.uk


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