Landlords call for package to support tenants hit by coronavirus

17 Mar 2020 12:03 PM

The country’s leading landlord organisations are calling for a package of measures from Government and mortgage lenders to support tenants and landlords affected by the coronavirus.

The package of measures includes:

In a joint statement, the Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association yesterday said:

“We are encouraging all landlords to work positively with tenants to provide support where needed throughout this difficult period. Landlords should be as flexible as they can to help tenants facing payment difficulties resulting from the impact of the coronavirus.

“To support landlords in this we are calling for a package of measures from Government and mortgage providers. This includes a temporary scrapping of the five week wait before Universal Credit claimants get their first payment, pausing the final phase of restricting mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax and ensuring lenders look sympathetically on requests by landlords for mortgage payment holidays where their income is being affected through reduced or non-payment of rent.”

Guidance for landlords

Last week the RLA published a blog by RLA policy manager John Stewart, on advice for landlords on this topic.

The first port of call for landlords should be the official guidance from the NHS. Where there is low risk, ensuring you and your tenants, understand and follow advice on hygiene – basically wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, cough into tissues and dispose, wipe down surfaces and trying to avoid touching your face.  The very latest NHS advice can be accessed via this link.

Government advice for tenants living in HMOs or shared accomodation

The government has also published specific guidance on how to self-isolate in a share house, which some landlords may find useful to pass on to their tenants especially those living in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

Public Health England (PHE) has also released some posters which HMO landlords may find helpful to display in common areas of their properties, which are available to download here.