Financial Help For Landlords Hit By Coronavirus Urged
With growing numbers of landlords and tenants being affected by the coronavirus pandemic, two organisations are urging the government to offer financial help.
However, landlords may be forced into offering rent breaks as part of the emergency legal measures to be unveiled by the government to deal with the current crisis.
The National Landlords' Association and the Residential Landlords' Association says the government should put together a package of measures to help support landlords and tenants who have been affected.
They say mortgage lenders also need to be involved in any financial undertaking.
The organisation said in a joint statement: "We encourage landlords to view positively their tenants in this difficult period to provide support.
"Landlords should be flexible to help tenants who may face payment difficulties as an impact of coronavirus."
‘Calling for measures from mortgage providers and the government’
They added: "We are calling for measures from mortgage providers and the government to support landlords, including a temporary scrapping of the five-week wait before a Universal Credit claimant receives their first payment."
They also said that the government should consider pausing the final phase of the restriction of mortgage interest relief and they urged mortgage lenders to be sympathetic for any landlord requesting a 'mortgage payment holiday'.
In addition, a petition has been created by one tenants’ union urging landlords to be sympathetic and not evict tenants who may struggle with financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Living Rent says that landlords should not be able to carry out an eviction in this period.
Their petition also calls for the suspension of 'any and all evictions in the social and private rented sector'. The petition also urges a rent holiday to be granted to any tenant affected by coronavirus.
Government is already urging landlords to halt any eviction
The Scottish government is already urging landlords to halt any eviction that may arise because of coronavirus.
Kevin Stewart, the housing minister, said: "A landlord should not evict a tenant suffering financial hardship because of coronavirus and we are considering how this can be addressed."
As part of the emergency coronavirus-related legal measures being introduced by the Government, there could be a clause that will give a tenant a rent break.
The move has been made by Labour who say that tenants who have not paid rent between 1 March and 1 September because of coronavirus should not be evicted.
The clause has been put together with help from housing lawyers and will be called the 'Coronavirus Emergency Rent Relief' clause.
Essentially, the move would see any rent not being paid as not being lawfully due so no action can be brought before December 1 in respect of rent arrears.
Whether the clause makes it into law under the emergency legislation being proposed is an issue that will be debated by MPs.