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NRLA calls for interest-free hardship loans for tenants affected by Covid-19

Almost a quarter of private landlords with properties in England surveyed have lost rental income due to Covid-19, according to a new survey. 

The online poll, conducted by YouGov for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), found that 19% of respondents had lost up to half of their usual rental income as a result of Covid-19, while 3% had lost more than half. 

An analysis of the results by the NRLA suggests that among those landlords surveyed saying that they have faced a loss of rent, the average loss was between £751 and £1,000. 


Applied across the sector as a whole, this suggests that the total rental income lost by private landlords with properties in England as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic stands at between £328m and £437m.

The research also found that 9% of landlords plan to leave the market altogether with 7% saying they will sell some of their rental properties over the next 12 months.

The study also found that 61% of landlords surveyed rent out just one residential property, and 34% of those saying they are retired, with rental income representing all or part of their pension. Consequently, 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 20th September, 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 guarantees interest-free hardship loans for tenants to cover arrears built since lockdown started in March.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, commented: “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. 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.

“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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    Hardship rent loans for tenants makes total sense, just so long as they are paid direct to landlords

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    Great idea! Tenants need told they will pay 8% interest on a ccj, plus trashed credit ratings - so should go for any such loans available.

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    In Wales, this scheme has been agreed by the Welsh Govt. and should be starting this month. Payments would be made direct to the landlords, which makes perfect sense as a one off. Definitely should be extended nationwide as it helps tenants and landlords equally. A win-win arrangement.

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    • 14 September 2020 17:27 PM

    I'm afraid yet again LL commenting DON'T seem to appreciate that the UK/English Govt seeks the destruction of private LL especially those with mortgages and trading in their own name.

    That was why S24 was introduced.

    There is simply no way that the UK Govt will support LL in anyway that will prevent them from being forced to sell up or be bankrupted.
    CV 19 is for Govt a further policy like S24 to get rid of more LL.
    Why would any LL imagine that Govt will do anything to assist such LL to prevent their eradication!?

    There are some seriously deluded LL out there.

    Of course all LL are totally correct that there should be such Govt assistance but I can assure you all it won't be happening anytime soon.
    It seems to me that many LL seem to imagine that they are wanted by Govt.

    Surely LL must by now realise Govt wants you gone.
    They are hardly going to help you to stay!!!

    The calculated risk of BTL has fundamentally changed because of making repossession even more protracted.

    The costs and reserves involved effectively render the BTL business model unviable unless possible to obtain RGI on the tenants or a guarantor.
    Finding tenants or guarantors that can qualify for RGI are as rare as hen's teeth.
    Without RGI a LL faces massive losses that they would need to finance.
    Few would have sufficient reserves to achieve this.
    You'd need about £30000 and that would be lost never to be recovered.
    All caused by one feckless rent defaulting tenant.
    It just isn't worth doing BTL as long as rent defaulting tenants can't be got rid of easily.

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    Finger on the pulse again Paul. it is common knowledge that there is a long term political plan to replace private landlords with the build to rent. Landlords will continue to face more regulation, compliance and cost, all designed to eventually force them out of the market.
    What we all know on the ground is this strategy will take decades and create a desperate shortage of housing for the most vulnerable in society, as Landlord risk assess with far greater diligence - ill conceived is an understatement!
    All the Landlord talk of CCJ's on this forum is a pipedream. Tenants will simply disappear when the day before a bailiff arrive and in most (not all) cases, you're simply throwing good money after bad trying to enforce. Makes us all angry I appreciate, but that's the truth of the matter.

    • 14 September 2020 17:55 PM

    Yep you are totally correct in your contentions.

    It is my belief that the only reason BTL soldiers on is that many LL really DON'T appreciate the risks of rent defaulting tenants and the extreme difficulty in getting rid of them.

    I think they are now!!

    But I know that if I was starting out again I would have bought one house outright and taken in lodgers.

    Yep only one property with possibilities of CG but certainly no risk of being bankrupted.
    Lodgers easy to get rid of.
    That is the position I will be attempting to achieve.
    Just 11 years late!!


    Money claim online cost me £60 last time I done it, tax deductible, I don't care if I don't get the money that I am owed, the fact that I have screwed that non paying tenant's credit history and that CCJ will come up every time a landlord or agent checks them out is all I need, we all need to be doing this to protect each other.

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    This isn't going to happen. I think Mr Barret is spot on. The government is trying to eradicate private LL's no doubt about that for what I'm not sure maybe they think they'll be a glut of cheap properties available or they just don't like the thought of people being resourceful and having control of a steady income stream.

    • 15 September 2020 09:36 AM

    Yep they certainly DON'T like the little man getting above his station.

    It has put the noses seriously out of of joint of the traditional rich LL who had the market very much to themselves and then in 1997 all these horrible oiks came along competing with them with hardly any 'skin in the game'!

    Such leverage was vital as it enabled the PRS to massively expand to meet the demand from MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION that Bliar decided to inflict on the UK when he flung open the borders to the A8 EU countries to as was said at the time rub the Right's noses into diversity.
    I bet he never calculated that Labour voters would destroy his EU dreams!!

    But the UK housing market has to cope with the very damaging effects of his policies.
    There is now too much demand for the available stock.
    Govt for some bizarre reason believes a few large corporates should be running the whole of the PRS.

    They couldn't be more wrong of course.

    There is room in the PRS for all types of LL
    This gives the end user; the tenant a far better selection of property types to choose from.

    Govt definitely wants to put the small LL back in the box.

    Can't have the sweaty masses playing the property game can we!?

    That is reserved for the traditionally rich!!

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    I think the NRLA would do well to explain the potential contradiction between their earlier survey saying only 7% of tenants were not paying, with this figure of 25% of Landlords having lost some rent.

    I'm sure the latter is correct, - just the stats need a little explanation
    ( wouldn't want to have Diane Abbott doing Shelter's survey results, which I think we've already seen )


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