The financial pain of coronavirus uncertainty for buy to let landlords has been eased by the housing minister.
Secretary for Housing Robert Jenrick is extending a mortgage lifeline to landlords who pass on the help to tenants who cannot pay the rent due to illness or the loss of income due to the deadly virus.
Expats who cannot travel back to the UK or who are in lock down overseas will pick up the same help as landlords in the UK.
Jenrick has persuaded buy to let mortgage lenders to offer a 90 day repayment holiday to financially-stricken landlords.
But they must also offer a rent holiday to tenants.
Then, when the threat of coronavirus has passed and the country returns to normal, he expects the tenants and landlords to come to an agreement about repaying lost rent and missed mortgage payments.
He is also passing emergency legislation to make sure landlords do not go to court with no-fault Section 21 evictions for at least three months.
“The government is clear – no renter who has lost income due to coronavirus will be forced out of their home, nor will any landlord face unmanageable debts,” said Jenrick.
“These are extraordinary times and renters and landlords alike are of course worried about paying their rent and mortgage. Which is why we are urgently introducing emergency legislation to protect tenants in social and private accommodation from an eviction process being started.
Landlords must reach out to tenants
“These changes will protect all renters and private landlords ensuring everyone gets the support they need at this very difficult time.”
Jenrick urged landlords to show compassion to the plight of their tenants and not to consider eviction.
“This important step on buy to let mortgages ensures parity of support, further to the announcement that the government made for private mortgage holders,” he added.
“To support this announcement the government has worked with the Master of the Rolls to widen the ‘pre-action protocol’ on possession proceedings, to include private renters and to strengthen its remit. This will support the necessary engagement between landlords and tenants to resolve disputes and landlords will have to reach out to tenants to understand the financial position they are in.”