Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Real EstateUK

Private landlords lose rental income as a result of pandemic

Private landlords

According to a research by NRLA, 22 per cent have lost money, while 9 per cent of landlords plan to leave the market altogether and 7 per cent likely to sell some of their rental properties

Almost a quarter of private landlords in England have lost rental income as a result of the pandemic, according to a survey by the National Residential Landlords Association, which is calling on the UK government to pay off Covid-related arrears.

The research found that 22 per cent of those polled have lost money and 19 per cent of respondents have lost up to half their usual rental income.

Among those landlords who have lost income the median loss was between £751 and £1,000.

Transposing these figures to reflect the sector as a whole, the NRLA suggests that the total rental income lost by private landlords with properties in England as a result of Covid has been between £328m and £437m.

The same survey shows 9 per cent of landlords say they plan to leave the market altogether and 7 per cent say they will sell some of their rental properties over the next 12 months.

The NRLA claims this would “choke-off” the supply of private rented homes for those unable to buy and those struggling to access social housing.

The poll suggests that 61 per cent of landlords rent out just one residential property and 34 per cent of those are retired, using rental income as part or all of their pension.

The NRLA argues that it is unsustainable to expect landlords and tenants to be building up rent arrears indefinitely.

Ahead of the courts beginning to hear possession cases again on September 20, the NRLA is calling for an urgent financial package from the government to pay off Covid-related rent arrears and sustain tenancies.

The NRLA proposes that the UK government follows the examples set in Wales and Scotland and develops interest-free, government-guaranteed hardship loans for tenants to cover arrears built since lockdown started in March.

NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle says: Where COVID-19 has caused difficulties for tenants, the vast majority of landlords have reached agreements with them to avoid problems. That said, most landlords are not property tycoons and cannot be expected to go indefinitely without any or only part of the rent they are owed.

To date there has been no direct financial support for the rental market, with individual landlords unable to access small business grants or bounce back loans, he said.

Beadle says, the furlough scheme is due to end, benefits do not cover average rents in any given area and the mortgage deferral scheme only builds up the amount landlords have to pay for the remainder of the term of their mortgage.

He said, the government needs to step in and ensure tenants and landlords in England have the same level of support being provided in Scotland and Wales to pay off rent arrears and sustain tenancies.

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