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Landlords “not taking their share of the Covid crisis” says academic

A visiting professor and accountancy academic claims landlords are not carrying their fair share of the financial burden caused by the Coronavirus crisis.

Earlier this year Richard Murphy, a chartered accountant and political economist who works as Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at the University of London, urged private tenants to be given “statutory rent holidays” for at least the rest of 2020. 

At the time he wrote on a blog for Tax Research UK - which undertakes work on taxation policy for aid agencies, unions, NGOs and others in the UK and abroad - that after such a rent holiday ended: “Thereafter rents should be reduced, drastically, and by law, and right across the board. Eighty per cent cuts may be appropriate. It may be more. Whatever is necessary to ensure business can survive must be done.” 


Murphy also forecast earlier this year about owner occupiers “who I predict will see the value of their houses crash in the near future.”

Now he has returned to the Coronavirus theme, again on the Tax Research UK website, saying that: “Nothing has changed. Except we now know I was right. We were facing a massive economic risk at that time the scale of which the government was not appreciating.”

He continues: “And it is still the case that bankers and landlords are not taking their share of the burden in this crisis … [L:andlords] should not be reaping the rewards. This is not a moment to bail out landlords, in particular. This is a moment for people, employers and jobs to take priority. And I still struggle to believe that the government has really taken that message on board.”



In his latest piece, Murphy repeats part of an article he wrote in March - ahead of the spring lockdown - saying: “I have already suggested that should the epidemic spread then as a matter of statutory right any tenant should be provided with a minimum three-month rent-free period to ease the stress upon them whilst this crisis last. 

“I would suggest that the grant of that extension should be automatic to anyone who does not make a due payment of rent on the required date during the period of the epidemic. They should be automatically granted this extension by the landlord without having to make any further application or to complete any additional paperwork.

“I stress that the cost of this will fall directly upon the landlords in question. I am quite deliberately suggesting that they should bear the heaviest burden of dealing with the epidemic. 

“The reason is simple and is that whatever happens they will still have an asset at the end of this period, and no other sector can guarantee that at present. As a consequence they have the greatest capacity to bear this cost. And, if it so happens that some landlords do fail as a consequence, the assets that they have owned will still exist after this failure and so the economy can manage the consequences of this.”

You can see his latest article here.

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Poll: Are landlords 'carrying their share of the crisis'?


  • George Dawes

    Murphy is a dangerous idiot


    Our professor is probably earning more each month than most tenants have as their life savings and a great many private landlords as well.

    Reading further down I see references to other countries. In the UK the costs of letting a property are absolutely ferocious with taxes, rates and compliance costs which don't stop with or without a tenant and a tenant who does not pay is defrauding the government as much as the landlord.


    Correction Fred, he's probably paid it, I doubt he truly earns it.

  • icon
    • 03 November 2020 03:14 AM

    Unfortunately idiots like him inform Govt policies resulting in many negative impacts upon the PRS.

    However I have no objection to being forced to share the burdens of trading as a LL.

    But of course to do that I need a vacant property to have the chance of trading of which there is no guarantee; so definitely sharing the burden.

    So to share the burden LL need to be able to get rid of rent defaulting tenants in a timely fashion.

    LL have no issues with being fully exposed to the market.
    But they can't be if they can't get rid of rent defaulting tenants.

    Of course many LL may choose not to repossess a property from a rent defaulting tenant.
    But that would be the business choice of a LL.

    LL currently are being prevented from being able to make business decisions by Govt preventing evictions.

    No other business in the UK is forced to provide a service for no recompense.

    I have no idea why this alleged idiot academic considers it perfectly acceptable that a LL should provide effectively free accommodation.

    Where does Murphy get his moral compass from to expect private citizens to be forced to provide free accommodation for those who refuse to pay for it for whatever reason which is IRRELEVANT!

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    • V OR
    • 03 November 2020 07:13 AM

    academic for a reason. couldn't handle the real world.


    Those who can - do. Those who cant - teach.

    But can we now add - or go into politics?


    Most professors are excellent manipulators. They have to be to cope with their constant backstabbing. Almost all of them are left wing without a shred of financial experience in the real world.

  • icon

    The learned professor has forgotten one very important component to his proposed rubbish.

    No rent = No taxes

    Similar type of academic we got advising the government at the moment & yes unlikely to hack it in the real world. Other than that appreciate Landlord Today for this mornings wind up article

  • icon

    Dear Murphy
    please allow me to describe u as super idiot , what do u think uk is the only and the last country in the world , if you do like this ,there will be crash in the property market ,No body is going to invest in the uk including british Citizens and the only loser is UK in term of taxation and and ,you Murphy, because of this scenario ,you may be end with unemploymet , because a crash in the property can destroy the Economy


    murphy, like all public sector parasites, pays no taxes

  • icon

    As per normal, academic = zero common sense .

  • Tony Egan

    Good work Richard Murphy
    The ramblings of an idiot who clearly has no knowledge of the real world.
    So what happens when all of the landlords have their properties repossessed because they're receiving no rent and they're still legally liable for the upkeep of the rental properties and paying the mortgages?
    They become homeless as do all of their tenants.

  • icon

    As one saying goes, " Those who can > do, others teach/preach" In anycase Murphy should substantiate his claims with well founded, fair and detailed facts. It seems he is desparate for more political recognition and end up in house which pays £350/day for mere attendance!? Maybe I am wrong and an unjust cynic.


    peers get tax free allowance and tax free expenses and subsidized food and drink

  • icon

    Also if as he says quite fallibly that LLs have the greatest ability bear this cost, why not go to hhuge earners , excess of £100 or 200 or 300K pa and tax them at the old extortionate rate prevalent in the 1970s etc. eg 90%+ because it can be fairly argued that huge incomes are not essential for survival/ subsistence.

  • icon

    Mr Murphy....I think your argument is better directed at Jeff Bezos. Idiot.

  • icon

    Academics don't live in the real world. They come from cloud cuckoo land. What an idiot!

  • icon

    No problem Murphy ! just send me my mortgage payments,all my costs and loss of rent refunds.
    pay my tax bill too you nutter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ruan Gildchirst

    Everyone is hit by this crisis now the LLs and bankers have to bear part of the burden



    What on earth have landlords, forced to provide services free, have in common with bankers, charging people for no services and for looking after their own money?

    Get real!

  • icon

    Is he a member of momentum-this is the sort of rubbish they would spew out;absolutely no idea how the real world works

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    • 03 November 2020 09:45 AM

    Many countries such as Australia have effective repossession processes for rent defaulting tenants.
    They don't expect LL to house people for free.

    Of course once the rent defaulting tenants are removed after 14 days they do expect the LL to be fully exposed to the market with no Govt assistance at all.

    That is fair enough.
    LL must expect to share the burden of markets distressed or otherwise.

    But all LL must be permitted to be in a position to trade which can only be achieved by a vacant property free of any rent defaulting tenant.

    The repossession process seems to work very effectively in Oz against rent defaulting tenants.

    The same process would work equally well in the UK.

    But of course politically would be unacceptable as it would result in almost immediately thousands if not hundreds of thousands of homeless tenants.

    The public outcry in the UK would make Govt suspend such an effective eviction process.
    The last thing it wants writ large is that LL are proven to be correct that LL usually only evict for rent defaulting.
    It would prove the fecklessness of tenants which Govt would have to house at great cost.

    Far better to force LL to have the full burden of accommodating those feckless tenants for free by banning evictions and making the eviction process as long and drawn out as it can.

    It saves Govt billions and political capital but of course Govt never mentions that rent defaulting tenants who can't be evicted quickly cost the Exchequer billions in lost taxes as there isn't any rent to tax.

    Of course this matters not for those LL subject to S24.
    They still are required to pay tax on fictitious income but don't have any rental income to pay for it.
    The world has gone truly bonkers especially in the UK!!


    wef reset--i am convinced--cv 19 is just a distraction

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    • 03 November 2020 09:52 AM

    Totally agree Paul.
    Well said.

  • icon

    What a short sighted fool....clearly doesn't live in the real world, how can individual's like him have a voice that government's should listen too?
    I agree that where possible Landlord's should help where they can during this pandemic, however for many of us this is our living, he needs to crawl back under his shell!

    • 03 November 2020 10:18 AM

    It should be for a LL to determine whether a tenant should remain.
    Many LL would prefer to retain a tenant who is able to pay some rent.
    A bird in the hand and all that.
    But of course that is a business decision for any LL to make.

    LL are currently being prevented from making such business decisions as they aren't permitted to evict rent defaulting tenants if they wish.

    Govt is effectively forcing LL to help tenants whether they want to or not.

    That is effective nationalisation of the PRS except this industry receives no income from those who for whatever reason refuse to pay.
    Surely not viable in the long run or actually in the short one!


    when you have pols as dumb as boris and hancock--then the prof is wat above them

  • icon

    Not sure how collapsing the private rental market will help the country or its tenants. I am guessing that this "expert" doesn't have any rental properties but I would bet mortgages that he has more capital wealth than me. I wonder how he would react if we carried out his suggestion but reimbursed LL by taking the funds out of pension pots, eg, reduce them all to a max of £400k or similar. He seems keen on taking my pension po, I wonder how keen he would be to lose his?


    Great reply Symon

  • icon

    Can the professor confirm what he has contributed personally prior to this article?

     G romit

    Exactly, how many homeless people does he current house for free?

  • James B

    Another idiot trying to get in the headlines at landlords expense that’s all
    The U.K. pastime of landlord bashing rolls on

  • Andrew McCausland

    I don't like personal attacks on-line, but WTF!!

    Has he no idea of what is happening out here away from academia? Take away this mans ASA certificate immediately. At the very least prevent him from spouting such nonsense to the population in case someone actually believes this rubbish.

  • Mark Wilson

    Better I stay out of this one!

  • icon

    Academics have not taken their fare share of the Covid Hit. They have been allowed to open their universities, which is merely another word for a business, so that these academics can be paid. The consequence of this is the mass infection of young people across the country as they attend university. This is then passed on to others. Yes these academics really do need to be made to pay for what they have done, starting with this idiot.

    • 03 November 2020 11:42 AM

    As well as infection also mass indoctrination which is turning out a load of lefty snowflakes.
    So the Communist plan is working well.
    How are idiots like Murphy allowed anywhere near a University.
    Any alleged academic who espouses left wing views is no academic.
    A simple rabble rouser is all they are.
    Universities are hotbeds of left wing indoctrination the cheerleaders of which are these ridiculous professors.

    The likes of him are creating future Labour voters.

    • 03 November 2020 15:30 PM

    Not one of them in any discipline have offered one penny of their income.

  • icon

    What a total gimp! Landlords haven’t suffered enough, no? So those not paid at all dince March or before aren’t taking their ‘fair share’ of the pain?! Seriously? Please, please God, protect this man’s clients if he’s an ‘accountant’!!

    Ruan Gildchirst

    It’s not good for anybody but greedy LLs should have known the risks before they got into it



    We expected the law to protect us against theft. We pay enough taxes after all!

  • icon

    No doubt Mr Murphy is delivering his speeches and lectures free of charger during the Pandemic

  • icon

    Now Tesco* have a large number of stores and a large stock of food so it and all the other supermarkets should supply me with free food until the pandemic is over?

    *Other supermarkets are available

    • 03 November 2020 15:18 PM

    Rightly so.
    I am thinking of going to my local BMW showroom.
    Whilst there I am sure he will let me drive the BMW 650 I have long wanted and drive it out for free.

    Why wouldn't he?

    That is what feckless tenants do to me.

  • icon

    The stress of what is happening and the lack of rent (my pension now) is affecting me physically and mentally. The people living there are working but are taking full advantage of the situation. Despite their supposed poor knowledge of English they 'know their rights'. Why does Mr Murphy think they should be allowed to continue taking the mickey when my health is suffering because of it.


    Because you, like me, are a snivelling, greedy landlord. Pull yourself together, your health and wealth is subordinate to the desires of your tenant; live on bread and water, learn where the food banks are located and be thankful that your non paying tenant can afford and deserves Steak and Chips.

    • 03 November 2020 15:24 PM

    Because in his eyes you are a greedy avaricious LL depriving someone of a home to buy.

    All complete b######s of course but that is what the LL haters believe.

    You'll receive no thanks for what you provide.
    Indeed you will be much derided for having the temerity to do so.

    Nobody loves a LL they all hate you for providing the service you do to them.

    Catch 22!


    I have been made redundant myself. Should I need to I can't claim UC because I have a second property. The law is an ass.

  • icon

    What contribution has he or any of the "sage Experts" contributed to the pandemic financially? Practice what you preach!!
    How many solicitors, Accountants or other professionals cut their fees to help struggling clients. None I know of. They may not have a property asset but will have large pension pots or accumulated assets from years of charging high fees so could also contribute to help all these struggling tenants!
    What about the overpaid footballers who pay little tax due to creative accounting where wages are paid as "image rights" into a separate company account. If the Government increased the tax they had to pay by 1% across all money paid to them that would provide a good chunk to help the struggling businesses.
    Yet again it is these theorists who have no practical skills leaning on Landlords and thinking everyone is rolling in money and can afford to pay.
    However they will soon realise, but too late, when people sell up. Why, because they have gone bust or had properties repossessed because they have no income to pay the mortgages and just how much the PRS contributes to the housing need and the HMRC income.

  • icon
    • 03 November 2020 16:39 PM


    Indeed the reason is because you have assets or income with a value in excess of £16000.

    Your rental property excludes you from UC receipt.

    Even if you sold it with some profit you would not receive UC until the DWP had assessed you had exhausted all monies.

    That doesn't mean you will be able to p### it up the wall the day after you have sold the property.
    The DWP will expect normal expenditure as if not they will consider you have made yourself intentionally deprived of assets.

    By trying to be financially responsible and not being a burden on the State you have very effectively burdened yourself.

    Leaves you feeling warm all over doesn't it!!!!!!!!????


    No other income now I'm not employed - I'm living off savings. My property was supposed to be my pension but without the money coming in how do they expect me to be able to live? I would love Mr Murphy to tell me that one. I'm a bit off state pension age yet but that's because the goalposts there have been changed. As soon as I get the freeloaders out I'm selling.

  • Ruan Gildchirst

    Everyone else is taking a hit so why not let LLs take a portion of the hard times,

    LLs have had it easy for too long,

    When you make any investments the small print always says it could go up or down and you may get back less than you invested

    Now this seems to be happening to the BTL markets


    No the situation with renting is quite different to other businesses, the government is interfering with rental contracts to ensure that lanlords fail. It's all political.

    • 03 November 2020 18:05 PM

    LL fully understand the market risks.
    That is just business.

    But what is not acceptable is for LL to be prevented from trading which no other business suffers from.

    You keep on coming out with your anti-LL rhetoric.
    Do us all a favour and FO.
    We don't need your stupid comments on here.
    You contribute nothing to LL dilemmas

  • icon
    • 03 November 2020 18:11 PM


    Have you considered the lodger option?
    How many rooms does your rental property have?
    Is the property fully furnished with EVERYTHING a normal home that you reside in would have?


    Paul I have long since learnt that you supply nothing to tenants, that which is not destroyed is stolen.


    No, just a few white goods. Two bedrooms, at least three men and possibly a woman living there so lodger option not feasible.

  • icon
    • 04 November 2020 11:36 AM

    Tell me about it.
    Every time.

  • icon

    professors are 10 a penny these days

    when i was at uni--profs were the cream


    Qualifications have been devalued, it would seem any old Tom, Dick or Harry can become a professor these days

  • icon
    • 04 November 2020 11:52 AM

    And not one of those 10 a pennies have any idea about real life!!!!!!!!!!!

  • icon

    I have taken a big hit far more than my fair share, now more rules about HM0's so called protecting rent arrears just to keep some persons installed in your Property that can never be put out, no it should be joint & several as now or we'll have multiple Court Applications to get our Property back I would prefer Arrears to this. I never liked the whole concept of HM0's at all, it was imposed on me like everything else imposed on us, putting individuals in all mixed up together, (its different if they came together as a group like it used to be) put one girl in there in that room, put some different Nationality's, Culture or Gender or even species in all other rooms.

  • icon
    • 04 November 2020 16:31 PM


    No you misunderstand.
    Remove existing occupiers.
    Ensure property is then fully furnished as a normal home would be.

    Then obtain lodgers.
    I charge £850 per room.
    I have 2 lodgers per room.
    I am residing at my home at least once per month.
    My occupiers are lodgers.
    I occupy once per month to comply with insurance conditions.

    What you could do is arrange for any existing tenants to give you surrender letters with you returning any deposit amounts as appropriate.
    They vacate.
    2 minutes later they return while you are in occupation and you issue new lodger contracts

    Whether they share rooms or not each lodger pays the relevant amount.

    But if you have non-rent paying tenants you will need to get rid of them first before you could take on lodgers.

    If you can't just yet then you are truly stuffed!!

    Perhaps a conversation with the current occupiers to convert them to lodgers with a possible rent reduction as an incentive or you carry on with the eviction process and serve CCJ on them each.

    I'm unsure as to whether lodger income less than £7500 is taken into account for UC calculation.
    But if you had lodgers how would the DWP find out.
    You are permitted to occupy as many homes as you wish.
    No law forces you to let out any homes you have.
    But of course you still have the asset value which is why UC won't be an option for you.
    Get lodgers not tenants as your lodger income will NEVER be more than £7500..............will it!!


    Ah misunderstood. I can't get the occupiers out, they aren't even the bloody tenants. Tenants moved abroad and left them with the key. They've been served a S8 and didn't leave so waiting for the courts now. Hoping that it might move more quickly as soon they will owe 9 months and it's my only income.
    Once they're gone I'm selling.

  • icon
    • 04 November 2020 19:04 PM


    If you have never received a penny from the current occupiers and have never given any agreement or agreed they can stay then what you have are illegal occupiers.
    Get some private security and remove them or wait til they have gone out and change the locks advising that if they do not leave for criminally squatting in your home they could be arrested if they attempt to gain entry.
    This has been the law for some time now.

    I had a similar situation with a criminal lodger who arranged multiple fraudulent tenancies.
    I told Police after they phoned me that they would need to ensure any occupiers were gone as I would remove them if they didn't.

    The illegal occupants left!!
    Squatting laws have changed.

    Get rid of the squatters not your property.

    You do NOT needd ANY PO to get rid of squatters.

    This ONLY applies for Commercial properties now.
    This property is one of your homes.
    It is not Commercial


    These people are squatters then, squatting in a residential property is a criminal offence, insist the police take action now, and be firm with the police, don't take no for an answer because the police will try to fob you off, any problems make an official complaint to the police, trust me that really works, I've done so in the past, they don't like it.

  • icon
    • 04 November 2020 19:08 PM

    And do it NOW.

  • Ruan Gildchirst

    BTL is dead, all LLs with any sense are desperately trying to sell now before the rush. Tenants are waking up that they can stop paying rent and it will take 2 years or more to get them out.

    The government is supporting tenants and even encouraging tenants to not pay rent. LLs are being forced to subsidise all the losses from the crisis


    I don't agree Ruan, BTL is likely dead for landlords with high debt, but it's still good for landlords that own their properties and are prepared to work hard at it hands on, pick tenants very carefully, no DSS, no single mums, no one under 25, and no all day curry eaters, you won't go far wrong

    • 04 November 2020 20:50 PM

    BTL for AST single households is indeed not a very good business model.

    However FHL; converting to single unrelated lodgers and short term renting is a way to continue without becoming victims of ridiculous tenancy laws.

    This means that single household tenants will find themselves booted out to be replaced by single unrelated lodgers.

    4 rooms at £600 pcm inclusive per single lodger is a lot more income and no problems getting rid of rent defaulting lodgers.

    There are many ways to skin a cat.
    An AST is not the only way!!

    But you are correct that AST LL are under extreme distress.
    As you suggest many LL including me when I can intend to sell up.

    This takes time to achieve.
    There is no doubt that the PRS will massively shrink in the coming years.

    This will be excellent news for those LL able to survive.
    They will be able to increase rents with so much reduced rental stock.
    Yes there will be perhaps fewer LL but what there will definitely be is a lot of desperate tenants chasing a lot fewer rental properties.

    As always any attacks on the PRS always result in fewer rental properties and increased rents.
    So where is the advantage for tenants with all the attacks on the PRS!!??

  • icon

    Richard Murphy is a chartered account and a professor. As such he deserves to be heard with respect. Lets keep it polite people.


    An accountant is nothing special, neither is a professor these days, as I have said before all these qualifications have been drastically devalued.

    • 05 November 2020 19:37 PM

    Absolute twaddle the man is a complete and utter idiot.
    He should be rightfully ignored.

    Being an intellectual doesn't make you intelligent.

    As evidenced by the prof's ridiculous comments.

    How he ever attained Professor status beats me.

    A great shame that idiots like him are allowed to infect the minds of uni students.

  • icon

    This is utterly ludicrous. It's in a landlord's interests to keep good tenants not to lose them just because they've temporarily hit hard times during Covid. Research from the NRLA has confirmed that we have been helping our tenants where we can. For my part I've agreed that my commercial tenant can pay a lot less rent whilst the business is being impacted by Covid and where my residential tenants are struggling I've given them breaks. As for my student let, some of the students haven't even arrived yet, but I'm still holding their rooms for them, and no they don't pay until they arrive. I'm lucky to be able to do that without sinking under bevause I have small mortgages but some landlords must be really struggling. To say landlords aren't taking their share is like kicking someone when they are down and quite honestly makes me feel like giving up and selling up.


    I've not received any rent from a commercial tenant since March because she is unable to trade, the lady has been a perfect tenant for the past 24 yrs, thankfully non of my residential tenants have been affected and all are paying in full, you are right Alison non of us want to lose GOOD tenants at this time.

    Peter Meczes

    I absolutely agree. The usual codswallop from attention seeking Mr Murphy. He's probably been paid so much throughout is professional career that he has never experienced hard-times and thinks that accommodation providers should suffer and go bankrupt as an altruistic way of showing how much we all care about others to the detriment of our own families.


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