A poll by YouGov for the NRLA has found that, between March 2020 and September 2021, 23% of private landlords lost rent due to the impact of COVID.
This included 11% who had negotiated rent reductions and temporary suspensions of rent payments with some of their tenants. 8% had major issues with unpaid rents with at least one tenant and 4% had experienced an increase in empty properties during this time.
Amongst those who said they had lost rental income because of the pandemic, 54% said they had lost up to a fifth of their income across their portfolio. 5% reported that they have lost more than half of their rental income.
The figures show that 36% of landlords who lost rental income as a result of the pandemic said they planned to either exit the market completely or sell a portion of their portfolio.
The NRLA argues that this is further proof of the need to help tenants get COVID related rent debts paid off to keep landlords in the market and tenants in their homes.
As the Government made funding available for councils in England to help tenants pay off Covid related rent arrears last year, the NRLA says local authorities need to ensure money reaches the pockets of affected tenants as swiftly as possible.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, comments: “Today’s (26/01/2022) figures show the extent to which landlords have been hit by the pandemic as we have been warning over the last two years. With confirmation that those most affected are more likely to leave the market, it is vital that the rent debt crisis does not worsen the rental housing supply crisis we now face.
“As a matter of urgency, councils need to make use of the money they now have to help tenants get COVID rent debts cleared. Without this, renters face a bleak future of fewer properties to rent and, ultimately, higher rents.”