Around 840,000 private renters in England and Wales have built up rent arrears since lockdown measures began and one in five tenants have debts of more than £1,000, according to recent research from National Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
The survey shows that 7% of private renters are in arrears due to the pandemic and younger people and the self-employed are the worst affected. One in five renters in arrears owe more than £1,000 to their landlord and the average arrears were between £251 and £500.
The self-employed who rent were most likely to be in arrears, with 17% saying they had developed rental debts since March. In terms of age groups, the survey found that younger people were most likely to have been affected, with 14% of renters aged 18 to 24 having built arrears since March.
The West Midlands had the largest proportion of rental arrears across England and Wales with 11% of tenants having built rental deficits since March 2020. The next worst hit area was London, where 9% of renters reported accruing arrears.
Mish Liyanage, Managing Director of The Mistoria Group comments: “Landlords are facing unprecedented times and its very worrying that rent arrears are so high across the UK. Landlords face lengthy and expensive court proceedings once the eviction ban is lifted at the end of March.
“Established landlords that have a strong and stable portfolio have been able to absorb of the rent arrears, but it’s been much tougher for smaller landlords as for majority the rental income for is the sole source of income.”
The Mistoria Group have highlighted their top tips for landlords to help survive the pandemic:
1: Dealing with tenants in line with Coronavirus act 2020 – All viewers should be wearing a mask and gloves and limit the numbers to a maximum of two people at the same time in the property. Anyone viewing a property should wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitise their hands. Also ensure all properties are sterilised, ready for new tenants.
2: Section 8 & 21 notice periods – These have been extended up to 6 months. This applies notices on both mandatory and concessionary grounds. There are exceptions for serious offences.
3: Rent arrears – Offer payment plans and try to work with tenants.
4: Viewings and voids – Ensure voids are minimised.
5: Mortgage payment holidays – Only take if you have financial difficulties.
6: Bounce back loans – Again take only if needed as some lenders see it as negative
The Mistoria Group is a high yielding student buy to let investment specialist, offering HMOs and armchair investments in the North of the UK, generating combined net cash yield up to 13% (Rental and Capital Growth). For more information on the firm’s current available investments and the services it offers, visit us at www.mistoriagroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 500 3015.