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Rent suspensions, deferrals and reductions on industry agenda as arrears crisis looms

High profile organisations offer new guidance to landlords and tenants in an attempt to slow the rent arrears train coming down the track.

Nigel Lewis

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It’s not often that major players within the property industry come together to back a single issue, but the enormous rent arrears backlog likely to slam into the sector as the pandemic squeezes the economy has done just that.

ARLA Propertymark, the Chartered Institute of Housing, MyDeposits, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, the Property Redress Scheme and the National Residential Landlords Association have jointly agreed guidance that advises landlords and tenants how to negotiate including ways to agree rent deferrals, reductions and suspensions.

This might sound like pretty sensible advice, but the organisations are sticking their collective necks out – remember not all letting agents and landlords are ready to help out renters in this way and some still prefer to urge tenants to pay their rent rather than offer concessions.

The joint advice is part of guidance that has been pulled together to help both sides work together to address arrears resulting from the Covid downturn.


The includes the need for both parties to flag up any problems that might be arising early on, and how to help tenants apply for benefits where needed, and work out realistic repayment budgets.

In a joint statement, the organisations say: “COVID-19 has posed significant challenges for both tenants and landlords.

“As a group we are committed to doing everything possible to sustain tenancies both through and beyond this period of crisis.

The guidance being launched today has an important role to play in achieving this and we encourage all tenants and landlords to work through it together in a spirit of positive co-operation.”

July 3, 2020

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