Call to Suspend Rents During Coronavirus Pandemic
The government is being urged by renters' union to step in and suspend all rents in the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The unions say that tenants are having to choose between putting food on the family table or paying their rent.
In a poll carried out by a national newspaper, around one in six tenants has to find extra financial help during the crisis.
The national organiser of tenants rights, Acorn, said that there is a potential collision course being set between landlords and tenants.
Kat Wright said: "Once restrictions are lifted, we are facing a big surge in the number of evictions and tenants being unable to pay their rent across the UK.
"Tenants need protection from the debt they've accrued during this crisis and from evictions post-emergency."
Tenants are facing punitive action from landlords
The national newspaper says it has been contacted by tenants who are facing punitive action from landlords with one self-employed tenant claiming that when he asked for a deferment of rent from his landlord, he was handed an eviction notice.
And since many tenants are struggling financially, many are being forced into taking paid work wherever they can to pay rents, the unions say, which means taking risks in the gig economy.
A spokeswoman for the London Renters Union says that this is unfair for renters.
She added: "Many tenants feel there's no choice but to break the guidelines on social distancing and go to work, so landlords can continue to profit."
The union says that all rents must now be suspended and rent arrears should be waived so tenants are protected from debt and eviction to help prevent the further spread of the Covid-19 virus.
Number of BTL products slumps
Meanwhile, the Coronavirus pandemic has seen the number of buy to let financial products falling by 55% in March.
The findings from Moneyfacts reveal that the number of BTL products available on the market fell to 1,593, from 2,897.
A finance expert with the firm, Rachel Springall, said: "It's clear to see how the virus pandemic and the isolation rules are leading to a big shakeup in the choice of buy to let mortgages.
"This could not come at a worse time and from this tax year, mortgage interest tax will be completely phased out for BTL landlords which has allowed them to deduct their mortgage expenses from their rental income and reduce their tax bill."