OpenRent Community

Landlord Guide to COVID-19 Emergency Measures

Originally published at: https://blog.openrent.co.uk/landlord-guide-to-covid-19-emergency-measures/

The Government has announced a raft of measures to support landlords and tenants through the coronavirus emergency. Things are moving very quickly and this guide will be regularly updated as more details emerge. Key Messages Emergency legislation to suspend new evictions from social or private rented accommodation while this national emergency is taking placeNo new…

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The government have offered ZERO support for landlords.

The lenders would have little choice and no reason not to accept repayment holidays, which we still have to get permission for anyway. They will simply add on the unpaid interest and, if we’re lucky, they may extend the repayment period, assuming your repayment period ends before you are 80 years old. They lose nothing, as their debt is secured by our properties, or are the government going to ban repossessions, no I thought not.

Businesses have had their rates suspended. Have landlords had their council tax liability suspended?
In my area of Kirklees landlords have to pay full C. Tax for vacant properties, with not even the 25% allowance for single occupancy, which in itself is outrageous, and pure profiteering from persecuted landlords.

What help has been given to landlords who are self employed with no other income, to pay their bills, put food on the table and support their families?

I live overseas, and together with the potential loss of rental income, my pension, we are suffering the fall in the value of the pound through lousy exchange rates.

Now, what exactly is the support for landlords?

Of course we would not evict tenants in genuine difficulty in these unprecedented times, but for the government to ban evictions is an open invitation for some unscrupulous tenants to abuse this law. And I see from another blog, that is already happening even with benefits recipients whose rent is already paid for through their benefits, which landlords cannot get hold of directly anymore. Would it not have been more sensible to sanction the payment of rents through the benefits system to ensure their security of tenure and ensure the landlords can survive. Or are all landlords considered to be a bottomless pit of resources to be sucked dry at the governments convenience. This way the burden would be shared fairly and equally in our taxes, as it will be for all the other government assistance schemes.

Not only are landlords going to suffer, but letting agents also, as their income is directly related to rental income.

It has also been suggested that Openrent suspend their 3 month time limitation on listings, if they wish to make a serious contribution. So how about it?

To all respectable landlords and tenants in UK, I wish you good luck and hope you stay safe and healthy.

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Further to my earlier blog, I would like to add that I fully appreciate this tragedy is going to hurt a lot of businesses and people, and I fully accept we landlords have to play a part in supporting the effort to combat and cope with the outfall.

However, I cannot think of any other business that is being FORCED, by an enactment of law, to grant free goods or services. And, before anybody comments that unpaid rent will be repaid in the future - dream on…
Why doesn’t the government guarantor those unpaid rents, if they want to treat us fairly, and why are the local councils not taking action against the benefits tenants who are already scamming their landlords out of rent payments they have already received, that’s fraud in my opinion.

I had already thought to suspend rent payments for a month initially, but since the government has introduced the big stick solution, without any meaningful support to the self employed landlord, I am having second thoughts.

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I agree wholeheartedly, Chris. No support for landlords and mo support for the self employed and no particular understanding about self employed contractors.
I am disappointed in the Landlord groups…they seem to have rolled over as far as action for the people they are representing goes.

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I agree Steve. As I noted in an earlier topic, I think the NLA & RLA are distinctly ineffective, at the very least they are not robust in their support for landlords and letting agents.

I cannot believe the housing minister could not see the foolishness of their new law, but sadly I believe they simply do not care or have any concern for the plight of the professional landlord.

I hope one day the problem will land on their doorstep, when landlords get tired of the incessant, biased and impractical legislation, and abandon the private rental sector. They do not appreciate the value of the PRS, it will no doubt take a major increase in homelessness for them to wake up to reality.

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I agree Chris, have you thought about running for PM?

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What about landlords without any mortgage on the property and it is their main source of income. I understand giving the tenant 2-3 months rent free, if they can’t work, but I would need it repaid. Not much hope of that, as they would probably move apartments rather than make up arrears. They will not dip into their savings (if they have any) to pay the rent if the government gives them a 3 mth break, and could possible go on longer…I fear some tenants, even if still working, will use it as an excuse not to pay the rent, knowing they have no fear of eviction.

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I totally agree Sue. The whole scenario is fraught with potential problems for landlords, and encourages tenants not to do the right thing. But as long as the government can offload the problem onto the long suffering landlords, they don’t care… Status Quo!

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Ha ha! I have enough grey hair already, what’s left of it, and am happily retired overseas.

Although I would take a sabbatical to be the housing ministers advisor for a few months, and kick them into shape. :slight_smile:

As long as I could get a full government pension afterwards, then I’d drop my property portfolio like a hot brick.

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Alex37

1m

I’d like to help renters by reducing the rent and my income to get through this difficult period. But with 0% relief on the interest I owe for the mortgage I would end up paying tax on the interest in order to help the tenants. The 0% relief should be lifted temporality until this levels out.

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Hi all,

I am really interested in the thoughts on electricity / gas safety checks for landlords. I dont think we can book that since the “lockdown” right?

ben

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Hi all, Robin from Anthony Gold has helped us turn around this guide really quickly. Hope it helps!

Due to current COVID 19 sitution my tenants lost thier job and they are not able to pay rent untill further notice. I brought rent Guarantee insurance during tenancy set up time. Its worth to use or wait for next two months?

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Hey Keyur, Rentguard have will be able to advise you on the policy if you contact them directly.

Giving a tenant 3 months free pass is naive. Many will simply leave when the time rolls around and its unlikely you will see that money again. I think for a section 21 it is now 3 months notice you have to give instead of 2 months but these recommendations change day by day. Had a call today and the tenant simply doesn’t want to do anything else except what he did before or take a drop in income.benefits can take forever and if the tenant leaves the benefits simply close the case and you can whistle for the money. Having been bitten too many times the best way to focus a tenants mind on payment is to issue a section 21 knowing you can always cancel it.

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i say it again dont take people on benefits, let the social housing people take the strain.

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Hi the comment about people on benefits is unfair every one needs a chance I’m on universal credit and I’m employed but no one gave me a chance except for the landlady I have now in December I got paid early and I was in the time period where I got no universal credit I ended up in rent arrears of £1000 pound I paid my landlady what I had which was £300 to show willing however I got the full universal credit the following month and I paid the full £1000 in full I’m no longer in rent arrears and yes the government are giving three months for tenants it doesn’t mean no one will get there rent my work place has closed but I have found a new job in a supermarket and I will return to my old job when it reopens so what I’m saying is people on benefits isn’t all bad stop tying everyone in the same brush it’s unfair hope you all stay safe

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Craig, good that things are working for you. The comments from Landlords here are not directed at decent people on Benefits; it from bad experience with others on Benefits. The Government, its lack of Social Housing and its toxic UC is the main culprit.
Sorry buddy, if it any consolation, we Landlords suffer from bing called names like ‘‘Rogue Landlords’’, perpetuated by the Government to hike up charges and cost.

Couldn’t have said it better myself Sue. I had already decided this year that it was time for me to walk away but to unravel properties takes time. This scenario to date has made me physically ill. I was just about to reach retirement and be able to breathe and now this. I don’t have time
On my side to make up lost years.
I agree the government think we are rich cats licking the cream. I might just be able to support myself in old age and that’s it! I’ve worked for years to get to this point and only last year walked away from
My paye job thinking this would support me.
My account says landlords are not self employed and either a business ( mine are not set up under a business) so if difficult times lie ahead there is nothing. I’ve ploughed £100’s of £1000’s into making my properties super for tenants benefits thinking that was the right thing to do and now bereft of all my capital.
The government should wake up because like me there will be many now throwing in the towel and there will be an even bigger shortage of homes.

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