An overwhelming number of landlords who had been approached for help by their tenants during the Coronavirus pandemic, have responded positively, a new study has revealed.
The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) surveyed over 4,500 landlords and found that 44% of the respondents had been asked for support by at least one tenant affected by COVID-19. Out of those landlords who had received a request for help, 90% has reacted in a positive way.
The support given to tenants included a rent reduction or deferral, a rent free period, early release from a tenancy or a refund on service charges paid in rent for homes of multiple occupancy.
Commenting on the survey results, Chief Executive of the NRLA, Ben Beadle 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.”
The right thing to do
The findings are also supported by the Scottish Landlords Association (SAL) who had received a large number of case studies where landlords have offered a helping hand to their tenants.
John Blackwood, Chief Executive of SAL said: “We have heard so many individual stories from around the country showing how landlords have been compassionate and understanding with tenants.
“We have seen landlords scrapping rent for those on furlough, reducing all rents by 50% for three months and offering flats free of charge to frontline workers separated from their families. Resources such as fleets of agent cars and volunteer staff delivering PPE and meals directly to hospital wards have been remarkable.
He added: “Landlords know they must work with their tenants and the wider community, primarily because it is the right thing to do but also because they know their own survival is, as it always has been, dependent on the wellbeing of their tenants.”
Landlords need to have the confidence to stay in the market
The NRLA is continuing to work with landlords and the Government to sustain tenancies through the immediate crisis and beyond. It’s important that whilst ministers consider their next steps, they don’t “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,” stresses the Chief Executive of NRLA.
“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.”