74% of Landlords Fear Tenants Can't Pay Rent
Landlords around the UK say they have been contacted by worried tenants to say they are unable to pay their rent this month, a survey reveals.
The findings from Landlord Action highlights that millions of tenants are struggling to pay rent because of the coronavirus lockdown.
And since five million UK households are living in rented accommodation, most of them have either been furloughed, have had to take time off work or have lost their jobs.
The survey highlights that 74% of landlords have been contacted by tenants saying that they will struggle to meet their rent commitments.
Also, various renters' unions are urging government action to suspend any future tenant evictions that are based on the rent arrears a tenant will have accrued during the coronavirus lockdown.
One petition has gathered more than 40,000 signatures and it's been organised by the renters union, Acorn.
'Nothing is being done to protect tenants'
A spokeswoman said: "Nothing is being done to protect tenants from falling into rent arrears. The government says the tenant and landlord should agree on a repayment plan, but they've given tenants no security and there is no legislation for this."
The founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, urged the government to be wary of taking a 'one size fits all' approach.
He added: "This is a nightmare scenario for tenants and landlords alike. However, taking from one group and giving it to another is not a solution.
"Most private landlords own one or two properties, many of them have mortgages and they too will be facing the same challenges of job losses."
The survey also highlights that 36% of landlords say they will struggle to pay their mortgage if tenants do not pay rents this month.
However, for landlords who are up-to-date with mortgage payments, they can apply for a three month payment holiday from their lender.
Landlords will be holding off from serving an eviction notice
The survey also found that 70% of landlords say they will be holding off from serving an eviction notice should their tenant fall into arrears.
Mr Shamplina said: "Landlords who work with tenants through this difficult time will be strengthening their relationship and be more likely to maintain a long-term tenancy.
"A good tenant does not become a bad tenant overnight and these are extraordinary circumstances with everyone being impacted in some way."