A leading industry figure reckons critics should give landlords a break and not assume that they’re raking in cash by taking a Covid ‘mortgage holiday’.
David Alexander, who is boss of he property management platform Apropos, has defended those landlords getting help from their bank, and hopes to dispel the misconceptions and assumptions made by those who believe they shouldn’t charge rent while taking a payment break.
“This assumes that the rent is required only to cover the mortgage payments when it’s often part of the landlords’ income as well. Equally not all landlords have mortgages, and many are solely reliant on their rental income to live,” he says.
Alexander believes there’s been a tendency to portray the landlord and tenant relationship as an ‘us and them’ situation but says the welfare and well-being of both is paramount.
He adds: “The truth is that both are interdependent on one another and need to work with agents to create a fair and fully functioning connection.”
Evictions – and disruption to tenants’ lives – should be the last thing on anyone’s mind now, he says, while agents and landlords must work closely with tenants to build strong relationships.
Apropos is currently working with about 500 tenants whose landlords have reduced rents, agreed payment plans and, in some cases, cancelled rents altogether.
“These are temporary solutions for unusual times and we would, when the situation improves, always work with landlords and tenants to maintain regular payments to avoid arrears becoming an issue,” he explains.
“Obviously, many landlords have major issues of their own at the moment, and it is important to respect these but developing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships is crucial and requires understanding, communication, and trust.”