A leading figure in the private rental sector says the lettings industry has been largely ignored once again by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Covid rescue plan.
David Alexander, joint managing director of UK-wide property management firm Apropos, says the Chancellor missed a golden opportunity in not directly helping landlords in particular.
“These ‘invisible’ people, who own one or two properties and rental is often their sole source of income, make up the majority of landlords in the UK and they are facing extremely difficult times” explains Alexander.
“If these individuals are not supported then the risk is that they will exit the private rented sector in large numbers which will cause enormous problems for tenants in the coming year. Supporting this vital group within the renting sector is essential and must be addressed immediately.
“Larger companies and investor groups involved in the PRS have rightly been financially supported through various government loans, schemes and grants but many smaller landlords don’t have their business structured in a way to benefit from this backing. Therefore, there are thousands of landlords who have been unable to access any financial support in the first six months of the pandemic and now face a further six months without any government help.”
He says the various eviction-related policies of recent months have been right as they have helped tenants remain in their homes at this difficult time, but he also wants help for landlords.
Alexander continues: “It is in everyone’s interest to ensure that the PRS remains secure, supported and viable. This means supporting tenants to remain in their homes and supporting landlords to be able to keep their properties.
"It is, of course, essential to protect jobs but it is equally important to protect homes. The government must act immediately to maintain the stability and security of the private rented sector during these unprecedented times by providing immediate financial support for landlords.”