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Online agent says landlords shouldn’t expect all arrears to be paid

An online lettings agency says landlords should take up mortgage holiday offers and be willing to accept reduced rent during the Coronavirus crisis. 

Boris Drappier of Bristol-based online agency Rent Happily says tenants who have lost their income are likely to accumulate rent arrears, and adds: “Some people will need to move places to start new jobs, but their outstanding debt might prevent them from securing a new place to live in, trapping them in a vicious cycle and further decreasing their chances of being able to pay their rent, let alone rent arrears.”

He adds that: “Unless preventative action is taken, once the eviction moratorium is lifted, the courts will be flooded with cases and proceedings will take years to succeed, if they are successful at all. In the middle of a crisis, getting new tenants with clean credit records may prove difficult, making it hard for the landlord to meet their mortgage payments in the meantime.”


Drappier urges landlords to take up mortgage holidays and then pass the benefit on to tenants - and not to expect other arrears to be paid at a later date. 

“Rent arrears repayment plans should only be suitable for the share of the rent that is not covered by the mortgage holiday … or for the full rent when there is no mortgage at all” he says.

Although landlords who secure mortgage holidays have to extend their repayment terms - so the holiday is simply a deferral rather than not paying at all - Drappier insists any landlord who didn’t have to pay their mortgage now and still received rent “could end up getting that money twice.

Writing on a Bristol community blog, the agent says: “Some of the landlords we work with have given a blanket three-month rent relief, while others prefer a monthly renewable agreement, but the results are similar; our landlords are confident their tenants will come through the crisis well and pay their rents afterwards, and our tenants are committed to honouring their rent, because they know they are being looked after.

“True, landlords have the right to their rent arrears, although given the circumstances, they are unlikely to get them back, and they may face even greater costs finding new tenants, in a rental market that might become very insecure. Taking out a mortgage holiday and passing on the benefits to tenants is not charity, it is simply good business sense.”

Poll: Is this agent right - should mortgage holidays be passed on to tenants?


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    Taking a payment holiday is not good business sense at all; it is a last resort. Not sure why he assumes there will be difficulty in securing tenants with a good credit history and payment record.

    They boast on their website created in 2020, "Our rent collection track record boasts a staggering 99% of timely rents. That's 10 times better than the industry standard." Clearly the need to promote rental payment plans would suggest they have more of a problem.

    The company having only been set up 2 years ago and based from home, not sure this article is anymore than a bad sales pitch for the company.


    Curiously they have "testimonials" saying they have been managing their properties for seven years!

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    • 21 May 2020 03:11 AM

    I didn't realise LA could be so thick.
    This idiot LA proves I'm wrong.
    If this LA was acting for me I would immediately terminate the management contract.
    No way would I want this idiot anywhere near my properties.

    If tenants rent default I presume LA won't be paid.
    If all a LA LL had rent defaulting tenants how long would it take for the LA to be bankrupted?

    Does this idiot LA seriously expect LL to pay monthly management fees if tenants are rent defaulting!?

    I thought I had heard it all until this idiot pronounced!
    How do idiots like him stay in business as a LA!?


    I couldn’t agree more, Paul and you know I usually defend agents.


    Not all Letting Agents Paul, just online agents. A good local agent will work with the landlord and tenants to get all the arrears paid.

    I guess you get what you pay for!


    @Gordon Brown - why class all online agents the same. That is as silly as saying all landlordds are bad because of a couple or all agents with offices rip you off because they have to pay business rates.

  • James B

    Wow .. one good way to get rid of his clients who pay his fees !

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    • 21 May 2020 13:00 PM

    @gordon brown
    Not sure if this idiot is totally online.
    But if so still very stupid.
    As you intimate it would be highly unlikely for a traditional LA to come out with such ridiculous comments.

    Even though I no longer use him I still receive very sensible and informative emails from a LA I last used 6 years ago.
    I guess it touches base with me and keeps his brand awareness with me.
    He certainly has opinions more commonly espoused on LL Today.
    A very sensible and astute LA/EA.

    I've never heard of this idiot online LA but then I DON'T have anything going on in Bristol.
    If I did I would be giving this particular LA a very wide berth.


    If he is advising his clients to do that, I'm no expert but surely he must be breaking a financial services law? Is he qualified to give mortgage advice?


    Paul, as you know I am an online agent and I can confirm that only one tenant has asked for a rent to be reduced temprarily. The rest are all paying on time, even in advance in some cases - I guess not all agents (on or offline) are the same.

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    • 21 May 2020 14:13 PM

    Yep I DON'T believe the fact that this idiot is an online LA in any way besmirches other online LA with similar idiocy.
    Most LA would be far too astute than to pronounce with such stupid comments.

    He must be an aberration in the LA community however he chooses to conduct business.

    But as a LL you really want the LA on your side.

    Defending feckless tenants is beyond belief.


    Thanks, Paul.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Does Drappier operate a Charity Lettings Business, where he works for Free and doesn't charge landlords ? - No ? because that's what he's advocating landlords do !
    Easiest thing in the world is to tell other people to give something away for free.
    Best of all, he's suggesting landlords give free rent by applying for a Mortgage deferment, and then pay that back out of landlords pocket, WITH Interest.
    Is it April the 1st, or has Lockdown played tricks with someones mind !

  • Mohammad Kamran  Iqbal

    Will local councils right off millions of pound with council tax arrears? No. I don’t think so. Why should landlords be out of pocket? You agree a payment plan with tenants in rent arrears .


    Councils will pursue landlords for council tax on an empty propertty - what services does an EMPTY property use? However their (to quote Paul Barrett) feckless benefit tenants are rarely pursued for arrears.

  • girish mehta

    Landlords are not social services. That is council and government job. Landlords have their issues and service the mortgage and maintain their tenants and follow government laws

    Enough for them to worry about without any help from government .

    I am a landlords for 20 years if I sell up I will end up paying lot of taxes, pay up lot when I have tenants and if I sell up.

    While the government throw money to tenants and encourage them to break the law. Whilst the councils and any
    One who want to thrash the landlords jump on the band wagon . One of the richest. Nation in the world . And. Managed by clueless. Politicians


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