The boss of a company that manages thousands of properties across the UK claims some tenants should be able to ask if their landlords have had a Coronavirus mortgage holiday - and should get a rent cut if the answer is yes.
Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley, says tenants who are out of work and struggling on reduced incomes should be able to ask if their landlord has secured a mortgage repayment, interest or repayment-and-interest holiday.
In March the government announced landlords can apply for a three-month mortgage holiday if tenants are struggling to pay rent. And to help renters further, the government has banned eviction proceedings from happening and urged tenants to work with their landlord in situations where they are struggling to pay rent.
“The government has moved decisively to help protect tenants and landlords, but it is inevitable some households will fall through the gaps as the various income support schemes get up and running and payments are processed” says Bowring.
“Transparency is key, and renters have a right to know if their landlord has benefited from a mortgage holiday and if they are struggling financially should be able to request a reduction in rent” she continues.
“Any rent reduction must be conditional on being able to prove financial hardship to prevent abuse and it is important tenants and landlords work together during this uniquely difficult time. What is important is that the government doesn’t effectively pay out twice.”