Almost half of landlords cut tenants’ rent during pandemic
A survey of 1,000 landlords by Shawbrook Bank found 46 per cent reduced tenants’ rent amid concerns around furlough, job security and redundancy.
Some 28 per cent gave renters a full payment holiday – a three-month period where they didn’t have to pay any rent at all, while 18 per cent offered a rent reduction.
On average, rental payment holidays lasted for three months, compared to rent reductions which lasted four months.
Landlords that gave their tenants a payment holiday estimated they lost £7,500 on average, while rent holidays typically cost landlords £6,500.
More than a third of landlords who gave a form of rent reduction said they proactively offered it to their tenant, while a further 45 per cent said it was a mutual decision.
Portfolio landlords – those owning four or more properties – were more likely to have agreed a rent reduction with their tenants compared to single property landlords.
John Eastgate, managing director of property fnance at Shawbrook Bank, said: “No amount of foresight could have prepared landlords, or tenants, for the impact of the pandemic.
“During this incredibly difficult period, landlords acted pragmatically, recognising the additional strain their tenants were under. In fact, in many cases landlords were initiating the conversation around cutting rents to ease their financial burden.
“This period has clearly underlined the critically important role that the private rental sector is playing, and will continue to play, in the UK housing market.”