A number of property firms and landlord organisations have welcomed government action to support landlords and tenants affected by coronavirus.
Private tenants will not be evicted from their homes for at least three months even if struggling with their rent under emergency coronavirus legislation announced by the housing secretary yesterday, while landlords will be granted a three-month mortgage holiday if necessary.
Following the government's announcement of imminent legislation to protect renters and landlords, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the National Landlords Association (NLA), issued a joint statement, stating: “Our priority is to ensure that tenants are secure in their homes during this crisis. The three month buy to let mortgage payment holiday will take a lot of pressure off landlords enabling them to be as flexible as possible with tenants facing difficulties with their rent payments.
“No responsible landlord will be considering evicting tenants because of difficulties arising from the current situation. There does need to be some flexibility though such as with dealing with a tenant engaging in anti-social behaviour. This could cause misery for fellow tenants or neighbours especially when they are going to be spending a lot of time together.
“We would like to see further measures taken including pausing the final phase of restricting mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax due in April.
“In addition we need to do all we can to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. There should be national guidelines for local authorities to suspend routine inspections of properties and a temporary halt on enforcement action where landlords are unable to fulfil certain required obligations because of the health risk posed to them, tenants and contractors.”
Andy Foote, director at SevenCapital, described the government’s measures to protect landlords and tenants affected by Coronavirus, including mortgage relief over a period of three months, as “extremely good news”.
He said: “I’m sure there will be thousands who will breathe a huge sigh of relief, to hear that any renters affected, who as a result are unable to pay their rent during this period will also be protected.
“It’s also highly encouraging to see that this legislation has been extended to both the social and private rented sector, where there are many landlords and tenants who may be impacted by these events and unsure about their payments in this unprecedented situation.
“During a tough period of time, as the Prime Minister himself said, “it would not be right for people to be penalised as a direct result of following government advice”.
“The information that appears to be missing however, with regards to mortgage relief, is whether landlords who run their properties through limited companies will be protected under this legislation or whether there are alternate business measures being put in place that will cover this.
“We await further developments over the next few days.”
Protecting renters who may be facing a financially precarious position during this pandemic is absolutely crucial, according to Franz Doerr, founder and CEO of flatfair.
He said: "The fact that the government is putting forward legislation to help the UK's millions of renters feel safe and secure in their home is to be welcomed. Extending the three month mortgage holiday to landlords whose tenants are experiencing difficulty paying is a sensible step."