While there’s been a lot of media coverage discussing the impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak on private tenants, the effect of the pandemic on UK landlords is not yet known. The nature of the outbreak and its consequences could change dramatically over the coming weeks and months, but the long-term repercussions are so far not clear. Here are some of the ways that UK landlords might be affected by the outbreak in the near future:
Late rent payments from affected tenants
As an increasing number of UK businesses close their doors to customers, it is predicted that thousands of employees, especially those on zero-hour contracts, will either lose their jobs or be forced to take unpaid leave. As a result, landlords across the country can expect to hear from tenants who cannot afford to pay their rent under the current climate.
In light of this, many unions have called upon the Government to offer rent holidays, but this has not yet been granted. Despite this, Robert Jenrick, the housing secretary, has pushed through emergency legislation to protect tenants who cannot pay their rent. Under this legislation, landlords in England and Wales will be banned from evicting private tenants for at least three months in a bid to prevent an increase in homelessness.
While many renters are relieved by news of the legislation, the long-term consequences for landlords are not yet clear. Many worry that this will only postpone the eviction proceedings, but it will be the responsibility of landlords and tenants to deal with these issues accordingly.
Financial relief for buy-to-let landlords
As the Coronavirus outbreak affects more and more people, landlords have been asked to remain compassionate towards tenants who cannot pay their rent – but what about the financial strain put upon landlords themselves? With over 2.6 million buy-to-let landlords based in the UK, the financial implications of missed rent payments could be huge.
With that in mind, landlords in England and Wales will be pleased to hear that the Government has extended payment holidays to buy-to-let mortgages. For landlords affected by late rent payments as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, buy-to-let mortgage payment holidays could come as a huge financial relief. Currently, the payment holidays are set to last for three months, hopefully giving struggling tenants enough time to collect their overdue rent payments.
Increased pressure to keep up with emergency legislative changes
As the Government reacts to the growth of the Covid-19 outbreak, the housing secretary is likely to continue pushing through emergency legislation in the coming weeks and months. Thousands of people across England and Wales will be affected financially by the current climate, and the Government will need to put measures in place to protect private renters and landlords at this time.
Consequently, landlords will face increasing pressure to stay up-to-date with the legislative changes. Staying compliant is an important part of being a great landlord and protecting vulnerable tenants, and landlords will need to keep on top of all legislative changes affecting rental properties.
These are just some of the ways in which landlords may be affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, but as the crisis escalates, there may be additional pressures to contend with. For help with staying compliant, discuss your circumstances with one of Bunk’s dedicated property managers.
At Bunk, we want to make life simpler for landlords and tenants, no matter what the circumstances. That’s why we’ve created a digital lettings platform that makes it easier than ever for landlords to manage properties, stay compliant, and form positive relationships with their tenants. For more information about letting your property through Bunk, get in touch with our team of experts today.