Landlords are calling for a clear statement from the government in response to campaigners’ calls for rent payments to be stopped during the coronavirus crisis.
According to the National Landlords Association (NLA), more landlords are contacting the organisation saying their tenants are under the impression they no longer have to pay rent as a result of the pandemic.
The association is now asking the government to clarify its guidance; that rents should continue to be paid where possible, with some tenants believing that because lenders have provided the option of a three month mortgage payment holiday to landlords, they should not pay rent for this period.
Groups including the National Union of Students are also campaigning for rent breaks for all tenants.
NLA is calling on the government to better publicise its guidance that tenants must still meet their legal and contractual obligations where they can – including paying rent – to dispel any myths.
CEO Ben Beadle, said:“The mortgage repayment holiday is only available for landlords who are struggling to make their payments because their tenants are unable to pay part or all of their rent as a direct result of the coronavirus and through no fault of their own.
“It is not an automatic payment holiday and landlords who successfully apply still have to make these payments later on. It is not a grant. What it does allow is that where a tenant is having genuine difficulty in meeting their rent payment because of a loss of income, landlords have much greater flexibility to agree a mutually acceptable plan with the tenant to defer the rent due.”
He added: “This is not a green light to tenants everywhere to stop paying their rent.”