Property Investor News reported Covid has had a devastating effect on landlords income according to a survey from the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) and let’s face it, they should know. The NRLA ran a survey amongst their members and report that 22% of landlords had lost income as a direct result of the pandemic, 3% more than half their income and another 3% between 30% and 50% of their income. The survey said the 9% of landlords plan to leave the market altogether and a further 7% will be selling some of their portfolios over the next 12 months. 61% of the landlords rent just a single property and 34% are retired and rental income represents all or a substantial part of their pension.
From a landlord perspective this is unsustainable given the eviction ban, many are having to pay mortgages which is adding to the burden of household debt, when tenants are able to pay then this is self-funding and much less of a liability. Mortgage holidays have been provided by lenders, but the interest is still mounting, this is not the case with rents and the landlord will struggle to get any of the missed rent in the vast majority of cases.
The NRLA has proposed that the Government follows the lead of the Welsh and Scottish Parliaments and offers government guaranteed hardship loads to make up the arrears as to date there has been no direct financial support for the rental market as landlords have not had access to bounce back loans or business grants.
The government policy is that no tenant should be evicted as a result of financial hardship due to the pandemic, and rightly so, but this needs to be followed up with support for the landlord who faces losing his property in the long term as a direct result of the pandemic, be it through ultimate repossession or fire sale to clear the debt.
Private landlords have been propping up the rental market for decades, seeing an opportunity where all governments have failed since the council house sell off in the eighties. Rather than being punished with rafts of different legislation they should be nurtured so that the housing crisis does not deepen.
If you are a landlord looking to offload some of your portfolio or just find another way for it to work for you then contact us for a possible solution.