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Majority of landlords willing to take a financial hit to support tenants

Em Morley - May 21, 2020

Private landlords have been willing to take a temporary hit to rental income to support struggling tenants, new research shows.

The findings of a new survey have been published today by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), involving over 4,500 landlords across England and Wales. They show that 90% of landlords who had received a request for support from a tenant had responded positively. This included offering tenants a rent reduction or deferral, a rent-free period, early release from a tenancy, or a refund on service charges included in rents for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Of all the landlords surveyed, 44% had received a request for help. 54% have experienced a combination of rent payment problems or unanticipated void periods. The survey also finds that 60% of those landlords who have declared rent arrears have experienced at least the equivalent of one month’s loss of income across their portfolio.

The NRLA has reported a large number of case studies that support the figures. They portray landlords seeking to support their tenants which has included free or substantially discounted accommodation for NHS workers, and landlords pro-actively assuring tenants that their tenancy is not at risk.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association said: “This research proves that the vast majority of landlords are doing everything possible to support tenants through difficult times. To suggest otherwise is needless scaremongering and serves only to heighten anxieties for tenants when we need a spirit of co-operation.

“We are continuing to work with landlords and the Government to sustain tenancies through the immediate crisis and beyond.

“As Ministers consider their next steps regarding the ban on evictions, they should not make it more difficult to take action against tenants who may be committing anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse, or where they are wilfully withholding rent which they can afford to pay.

“We need landlords who are going through a difficult time to have the confidence to stay in the market. Otherwise, we are only going to end up with a worsening housing crisis as more tenants chase fewer properties.”