NRLA demands financial support for landlords
- Published: Tuesday 22 December, 2020
- By: Commercial Trust
The chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has issued a demand to senior MP’s for financial help, for the private rental sector, in response to the difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
At the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, Ben Beadle highlighted that the level of crisis had led the NRLA to collaborate with organisations, such as Citizens Advice and Shelter, who are usually strong critics of landlords.
Financial support for tenants critical
The shared view, between the normally opposed parties, is that it is essential that tenants receive financial support, to assist with Covid-related rent arrears.
The proposed solutions put forward are to introduce either a loan or grant, to help tenants meet their rental payments.
Policy changes called for, to sustain tenancies
Further comments were made by Ben Beadle to the committee, which discussed how recent government policies are inflicting financial damage to some landlords.
In particular, those landlords whose tenants struggled with rent payments prior to the pandemic, are considered to have been significantly harmed by Covid-driven policy changes.
Mr Beadle, on behalf of the NRLA, therefore believes that minor changes to the policy are not sufficient.
The NRLA is instead calling on the government to develop a solid plan, to provide financial support to the industry, to avoid greater problems occurring in the future:
“What we are lacking is a longer-term strategy to help the sector and I think the measures we have laid out with our colleagues from Crisis and Citizens Advice and others are a route to sustaining tenancies, which is what everyone wants.
“With the economic forecast being as it is, it's inevitable more people are not going to be able to afford to pay their rent. The focus has to be on better supporting the sector to help both landlords and tenants through this period.”
Solidarity highlights strength of need
The coming together of parties who ordinarily sit on opposing sides of the fence on landlord/tenant issues presents a strong message.
The efforts the government has employed, to protect and help the private rental sector throughout the pandemic, are not deemed sufficient.
Landlords drowning under the weight of financial responsibility
Highlighting the strong support given by the landlord community to their tenants, Mr Beadle referred to a recent research project, which outlined that 97 percent of landlords had not issued notice to any of their tenants, since the beginning of the pandemic.
The research project shows that landlords have been committed to helping and supporting their tenants throughout the pandemic, despite experiencing financial difficulties themselves.
Beadle went on to illustrate the efforts that the NRLA have made in encouraging landlords to collaborate with their tenants, in order to sustain their tenancies.
This includes the sharing of advice with landlords, which has also been incorporated into guidance issued by the government, to ensure that agreements between landlords and tenants could be reached, to prevent court action.
With many key organisations placing pressure on the government on the issue of financial support, the hope for landlords is that help may be provided.
This information should not be interpreted as financial advice. Mortgage and loan rates are subject to change.