Landlords asked to allow tenants to go in to arrears ! RLA

Was John Stewart Policy manager at RLA Residential Landlords Association right in suggesting tenants should be allowed to go in to arrears and Landlords try to collect it later by being sympathetic??


There must be 100’s of Landlords who may face repossession especially given the tax allowances and expenses recently removed from them. I’m sure many will want to assist their tenants with any help in difficult times if they possibly can . But should it be left as their responsibility. Who is John Stewart representing?


Writing on BBC News

What advice is being given?

Landlords typically have about six or seven properties that they rent out.

The Residential Landlords Association, which has members from England and Wales, said that if tenants find themselves in this situation, landlords should allow rent to be paid at a later date, assuming that the tenant has a good payment history.

John Stewart, policy manager for the association, said landlords should be sympathetic, allowing people to pay more in later months to cover any missed payments now.

“Whilst a minority of tenants may use the outbreak as an excuse to avoid paying rent, most will be genuine and suffering stress,” he said.

“If there hasn’t been a history of arrears or delayed payment, then it is better to accept the situation and work with the tenant to repay any arrears when things return to normal.”

Hi Steve, I’m looking to write a guide one this asap – we’re expecting today’s daily update from No. 10 to include new measures to help tenants pay their rent, so things may get much clearer by 5pm.


I am following this as Boris speaks to see if OpenRent are going to issue any guidance for their private landlords.

I can’t hear anything about tenants delay payments. To be honest I can see a surge of tenants trying to delay payments.
What landlords should do: ask for evidence for what tenants claim, for instance proof you are actually infected? So go deep i’m tenants health conditions in order to understand how long will take to recover? Can be accepted as reason for interruption of rent payments be at home looking after their kids? Will the landlord eventually be forced to send section 21 to their tenants in panic of loosing their rents income? Pausing Mortgage payment is not free. How will I recover those costs?
There are more questions that need an answer but I can see more restrictive measure against landlord in addition to the one already approved by the government (for example taxation )
Hope the questions above will turn in a very useful discussion for landlords and tenants.

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Hi all, we absolutely are going to give guidance in our monthly newsletter.

Here is the latest (literally 20 mins ago) guide from the Government.

Things are moving very quickly, and headline announcements are often slow to be followed by crucial details, so it’s important to wait until we can put together the best guidance possible and not try to be a one-step-behind version of the news cycle.


Hi Sam
Thanks for updating on the most up-to-date government position. What would be most helpful from OpenRent is if you could draw up a contract that landlords could ask tenants to sign recognising an acceptance of a rent deferral and an agreement to pay any such deferrals back at an appropriate time. I’m concerned how long this will go on for and if the tenant will have a job to go back to after this is over and if eviction at that point is difficult as they have been living essentially rent free for an extended period of time.

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You won’t be able to do that Dom they’re not even testing frontline staff on mass let alone the general public, and this will get even harder when the lockdown happens. You will have to accept that this is a completely unprecedented situation and people need to be trusted and treated with compassion.

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There could be a lot of tenants lose their job if firms go bust due to covid19.
Will the courts cope if there is a flood of eviction requests?
If a lot of tenants get evicted could this change the current situation where property is in high demand and prices increase, to a time when few tenants can afford rents so rents have to drop to stop properties being left empty?

Worrying times however you look at this.

Guidelines don’t seem crystal clear. I am selling my property so issued Sec 21 over a month ago. Am I now to be prevented from selling? Sounds like if tenants don’t move out I would have no recourse to courts? If so, do I have to refuse payment of rent post final date, as would normally be the case, on the grounds that I would be sanctioning a periodic tenancy by accepting rent? Would I then have to start all over once crisis is finished with a further 2 month period before I can sell?
This would seriously disadvantage private Landlords who, like me, don’t have a mortgage, but are pensioners relying on our one rental property for essential income. Government seem unaware not all owners have a mortgage!

Hi Sally, I think that no new possession claims will be permitted ‘during the crisis’, which could last into 2021. I’m writing up the new measures now so will have more detail soon.


It’s not so much a 2 week illness. It’s the fact many are getting laid off and likely for the foreseeable future. 2 - 3 months.

Instead of throwing money at loans and suggesting 3 month holidays, employment affected tenants should have access to housing benefit if the employment was a consequence of the corona virus affecting trade.



And if payments were fast tracked instead of the usual delayed payments of universal credit, then there would be no need for the tenants to go into arrears.

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