Most tenants meeting rental commitments

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A new survey has confirmed previous findings that relatively few private rental tenants have been unable to meet their rental commitments during the Coronavirus crisis.

Independent polling for the National Residential Landlords Association found that  87 per cent of private tenants have paid their rent as normal throughout the pandemic. An additional 8 per cent said they had agreed a reduced rent, a rent-free period or made some other agreement with their landlord or letting agent.

Just over half of landlords who had granted at least one tenant a deferred rent or rent-free period said they planned to absorb the losses from their own savings.

Just over 3 per cent of tenants were shown to be building up arrears which they were unable or unwilling to clear.

NRLA is now calling for Government guaranteed hardship loans to be made available to help tenants who are in arrears because of the pandemic. Ahead of the winding down of the furlough scheme, the NRLA argues that such loans should be provided to eligible tenants to cover rent payments.

‘Consistent with our previous surveys, this latest data demonstrates that the vast majority of landlords and tenants are working together constructively to sustain tenancies, and critically that the overwhelming majority of tenants are paying as normal’, said NRLA chief executive Ben Beadle.

‘Eviction is not, and need not be, an inevitable outcome where tenants have struggled to pay their rent due to COVID-19. Those who argue otherwise are stoking needless anxiety for tenants.

‘When the courts do start to hear cases again, it is essential that they deal swiftly with the most serious cases, including those where tenants are committing anti-social behaviour or where there are long standing rent arrears that have nothing to do with the pandemic’.