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Some Useful COVID-19 Advice for Landlord's

The pandemic has ripped through the nation and affected households far and wide. Job security and reduced income are two primary factors that may prevent your tenant paying rent in full.

Our landlords range from professional to accidental, some have large portfolio's consisting of hundreds of properties, to those with just one. Regardless of how many properties each landlord owns, for a variety of reasons the majority need rent payments made in full and on time, in order to survive. Landlords have had it tough over recent years with rising costs, removal of tax breaks and most recently increases in fees to supplement the tenant fees ban of June last year. The financial squeeze has been both painful and continuous, meaning very few are left with any profit from the rent and some are required to bridge the difference on the losses.

So what can you do about it?

If your tenant is seeking a rent break or reduction here are the options.

  • Do you have a rent guarantee cover? If you used an agent to facilitate the let you may have insurance to cover any loss of rent. Your agent will be able to advise on this.
  • Speak with your tenants and understand the full reasoning behind their change of financial circumstances. What can they afford to pay and for how long?
  • If your tenant is suggesting that they can't pay any rent, is there a guarantor you can pursue to cover the rent? They would have needed to sign an agreement when the tenant moved in.
  • Always ask for proof from their employer. Unfortunately a select few might not be telling the truth and will use the pandemic to their advantage.

Mortgage Holiday?

You can apply for a mortgage holiday but please be aware, not all lenders are offering to freeze payments. If they are, the missed payments are deferred and added to the loan needing to be repaid at a later date.

Payment Plans

Ideal for tenants needing to reduce rent payments for 2-3 months. Rent will increase thereafter for the remainder of the tenancy to make up the shortfall. Make sure lines of communication are clear and always open.

Understanding New Legistlation

This is vital in an ever changing industry, Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick announced on March 18 that the Government was introducing an emergency Bill to clarify the position. It is widely expected that the Bill will be finalised this week. It is expected to contain wide-ranging protections for both renters and landlords. It is anticipated that the Bill will temporarily suspend evictions of renters from social or private rented accommodation against whom landlords have already obtained possession orders.

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