While it was pleasing to hear the Government quickly announce a mortgage holiday for property owners who struggled to pay their mortgage, there was still a lot of uncertainty for landlords and tenants. Thankfully, there has been clarification regarding the support on offer and the three-month payment holiday for people with mortgages has been extended to tenants and buy-to-let landlords. A mortgage holiday for btl landlords is welcome.
Any tenant who is in social or private accommodation and cannot afford to pay their rent relating to the Coronavirus should contact their landlord. The landlord can then initiate a payment holiday which is available for up to three months.
Also, landlords who hold a buy-to-let mortgage have also been told they can arrange a payment holiday if their tenant is unable to pay the rent.
There is help for those who need it in this difficult time
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP announced; “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. 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.”
The Residential Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association have released a joint statement, where they welcome the announcement. The statement reads; “Our priority is to ensure that tenants are secure in their homes during this crisis. The three-month buy-to-let mortgage payment holiday will take a lot of pressure off landlords enabling them to be as flexible as possible with tenants facing difficulties with their rent payments. No responsible landlord will be considering evicting tenants because of difficulties arising from the current situation. There does need to be some flexibility though such as with dealing with a tenant engaging in anti-social behaviour. This could cause misery for fellow tenants or neighbours especially when they are going to be spending a lot of time together.”
Mortgage holiday for btl landlords
There has also been support from Nationwide, one of the leading mortgage lenders in the country. Their Director of Mortgages, Henry Jordan has said; “We feel it is important to extend protection to landlords and their tenants during this uncertain period. We have extended mortgage payment holidays to include rental properties so that landlords with tenants who are unable to meet rental payments because of coronavirus are protected as much as possible. We would encourage tenants to speak to their landlords if they are impacted or worried about coronavirus to ensure that steps can be taken to support them at this time.”
There has also been backing from the Bank of Ireland UK, with their Chief Executive Ian McLaughlin saying; “We know that the services we provide are critical during this very challenging time and we have a range of dedicated supports in place for customers. Customers should contact us directly if they feel they will be impacted financially by Covid-19. The safety and welfare of our colleagues and customers and the continuity of our services remains our priority. We will continue to play our part by working with Government and the wider industry in response to the threat posed by coronavirus.”
Anyone with mortgage questions should be proactive in seeking guidance or assistance. This is a period of significant uncertainty, but help is always available. Also, it is unlikely assistance will be offered unless it is requested, so it is important for mortgage owners to stay on top of their finances and their situation.