Nine in 10 tenants have paid rent as usual despite pandemic, say landlords

Nine in 10 tenants have managed to pay their rent as usual since the coronavirus crisis started, according to a survey carried out on behalf of landlords.

Some 90% of tenants surveyed across England and Wales said they had paid their rent as normal, research between May 20 and 25 found.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), which commissioned the survey of more than 2,000 tenants, found 84% said they had not needed to ask their landlord for any support.

The NRLA also argued that when the current ban on repossessions is eventually lifted, priority should be given to cases involving debt built prior to the lockdown, where tenants are engaged in anti-social behaviour and those who might be committing domestic abuse.

It also wants to see a hardship loan scheme for tenants whose existing housing support payments are insufficient to meet their costs during the crisis, but expect their finances to recover in the short to medium term.

This would be paid directly to the landlord and could be repaid by the tenant within a fixed number of years, it suggested.

The landlords’ body also said it has been working with the Government to develop a protocol to ensure that landlords and tenants have done everything possible to reach an agreement on rent arrears before any repossession can take place.

Ben Beadle, the chief executive of the NRLA, said: “This survey reflects what we know from our members, which is that nearly all are seeking to support tenants to stay in their homes. Given that some 30% of landlords have reported facing some level of financial hardship, they will do all they can to sustain tenancies.”

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