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Landlords step in to help tenants with rising cost of living

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Written by: Shekina Tuahene
16/09/2022
The majority of residential landlords said they have had to step up and support their tenants as the cost-of-living crisis begins to bite harder.

A survey of 1,000 private landlords and 1,000 tenants found that 85% of renters had made changes to their lifestyle to cope with increasing living expenses.  

According to the Shawbrook Bank study, landlords have taken steps to help them manage their finances with a quarter freezing rents, while 22% offered a payment holiday. A further 22% have offered their tenants a reduction in rent, while one in five have proposed including bills as part of monthly payments.

Some 14% of landlords have not done anything to help tenants cope with rising costs but are prepared to do so, if financial difficulties become apparent. 

Additionally, just over a quarter have made energy efficient upgrades to help with increasing energy bills. This ties in with proposed legislation requiring landlords to increase EPC ratings of properties under new tenancies. As part of the changes, new tenancy properties must have an EPC rating of C or above by 2025, while existing tenancies must be brought up to standard by 2028. 

Over a third of renters surveyed said they would consider asking their landlord to reduce their rent and 35% would request a rental holiday. 

‘Vital that landlords support tenants’

Emma Cox, MD of real estate at Shawbrook, said: “With the cost-of-living crisis showing no signs of easing, it’s encouraging to see responsible landlords play their part in reducing the burden their tenants are facing. Our research showed that a third of tenants are already starting to cut back on essentials like food shopping due to rising costs.   

“In order to have a fair and sustainable rental market, it’s vital that landlords are open to supporting their tenants through hard times. Reducing rents or offering payment holidays will help tenants during the worst of the crisis and get them back on their feet.”  

She added: “Making improvements to properties in order to reduce energy costs not only offers a long-term solution to rising prices, but also enables landlords to start to get in front of upcoming EPC legislation. 

“For landlords looking to make improvements to their properties, speaking to your broker on how best to finance any works will help get any renovations underway quickly, whilst still maintaining cash reserves.” 

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