Generation Rent’s claim that the majority of landlords are failing to support tenants needing help during the COVID-19 pandemic is totally untrue, it has been claimed.
A yet-to-be published survey by the National Residential Landlords Association of 4,500 landlords, has found that 90 per cent of landlords who had received a request for support from a tenant responded positively. The help given was in the form of a rent reduction or deferral, a rent-free period, early release from a tenancy or a refund on service charges included in rents for homes of multiple occupation. Of the landlords surveyed, 44 per cent had been asked for help by at least one tenant.
Ben Beadle (pictured), Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association said, “Whilst many tenants have been able to continue paying their rents in full and on time, in accordance with Government advice, we recognise the strain that many others are under at this difficult time. That is why it is good news that, as our research shows, nearly all the landlords approached for help by their tenants are responding positively.
“With no direct support aside from a mortgage deferment, landlords are playing their part to avoid unnecessary anxiety for tenants and our figures show that the vast majority of tenants and landlords have a good relationship with each other.”
The figures are supported by a large number of case studies the NRLA has received from landlords seeking to support their tenants. For example, “Andy has successfully applied for a three month mortgage payment deferral and passed on the benefits to his tenants in the form of a rent payment deferral. He and his tenants have agreed on a repayment plan that works for them all.”
Sian, a landlord in Manchester, has established a Whatsapp group so her tenants can easily keep in touch with her and has sent them care packages with food.
Ben, a landlord in Twickenham, pro-actively contacted his tenants before the lockdown encouraging them to get in touch if they needed support. For some tenants he has agreed to a proportion of rents and, or, arrears to be deferred.
Other landlords have offered accommodation free or at a reduced rent to those working in the NHS whilst others are supporting vulnerable tenants. One landlord tweeted: “My staff is compiling a list of elderly and vulnerable tenants, we have a lot, it’s what we do. Time to mobilise to help them in any way we can.”