Landlords say tenants have managed to pay rent despite pandemic

Nine out of ten tenants have managed to pay their rent as usual since the start of the coronavirus crisis, according to a survey commissioned by landlords.

About 90% of renters across England and Wales said they had paid their rent normally, a study found between May 20 and 25.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), which commissioned the survey of more than 2,000 renters, found that 84% said they shouldn’t ask their landlord for support.

It has called for a hardship loan scheme for tenants whose existing housing support payments are insufficient to cover their costs during the crisis but expect their finances to recover in the short to medium term.

It’s because campaigners warned of a spike of evictions and homelessness when a temporary ban on evictions in England and Wales expires on June 25.

Campaign group Generation Rent said tenants needed even more protection and that even those who would return to work would find it difficult to repay debts.

The NRLA states that when the ban is lifted, priority should be given to cases of pre-closure debt, where tenants engage in antisocial behavior and those who may commit domestic violence.

It was suggested that a hardship loan should be paid directly to the landlord and could be repaid by the tenant within a certain number of years.

The landlords’ body also said it has partnered with the government to develop a protocol to ensure that landlords and tenants have made every effort to reach an agreement on rent arrears before any seizure can take place.

NRLA director Ben Beadle said: “This survey reflects what we know about our members, namely that almost everyone wants to support tenants to stay with them.

“Given that about 30% of landlords have reported financial difficulties at some level, they will make every effort to keep the rent.”


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