There is mounting pressure on Scottish landlords, who have defaulting tenants, not to evict tenants, who are facing financial hardship, due to Coronavirus.
The housing minister Kevin Stewart said: The Government was urgently considering what measures could be put in place, to support people who may face eviction due to the virus.
Mr Stewart was responding to a petition, made by Scottish tenants’ union Living Rent, calling for protections for those renting properties, in the private and public sectors.
Several hundred have backed a petition from Living Rent, which asks for a pause to be put, in place on all evictions.
Collections of rent to be paused for tenants
The petition is demanding for renters affected by Coronavirus, to be granted a “rent holiday”. Living Rent want rent collections paused, for those tenants who are unable to work, or who need to self-isolate.
In a statement on their website, the Living Rent said: “We want to see, that this crisis does not make life harder for those that are already suffering under austerity, universal-credit reforms and skyrocketing rent.
“While bankers, landlords and mortgaged homeowners are being supported, the silence of the government regarding tenants and their needs is shocking.”
The Scottish Government is showing some support for the plight of tenants, who cannot work and may ask landlords to halt current and pending evictions. At the moment, it is unclear if the majority of the SMP is behind this call from Living Rent.
Mr Stewart said: “No landlord should evict a tenant, because they have suffered financial hardship, due to Coronavirus, and we are actively considering how best this can be addressed.
“This is part of our urgent consideration, on what wider measures can be put in place, to support people against the economic impacts of coronavirus, and further announcements will be made.”
Call for all banks to suspend mortgage payments
A local landlord, in Aberdeen Mr Michael Cameron, said: “it is fine Living Rent asking for this, but how are we going to pay our mortgage to the lender? if the Government is going to intervene and force private landlords not to evict, then we want the Government to suspend mortgages too.”
“My tenant has rent arrears before the coronavirus issue, so why should the eviction be halted?”.
Helen Cartwright from the British Landlords Association said: “some of our members are already talking about the need for the banks to suspend mortgage payments. Our members want the Government to force banks, to suspend mortgage payments, until the coronavirus issue has been dealt with, and people can go back to work”.
Mrs Cartwright added: “I do believe, in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus and cushioning people from its economic impact, activists and politicians are now actively pushing for moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, and suspensions of rents. We very much hope that this will include suspension of mortgages and commercial loans. The British Landlords Association has written to the Government, requesting to put in place measures to help landlords, with mortgages and loans. It is inevitable tenants will default, due to Coronavirus and this, in turn, will impact landlords ability, to service their mortgages”.
The BBC recently reported the severity of the Coronavirus problem, and some banks are putting measures in place to help people.
Current Mortgage help from banks
Cases of mortgage repayment holidays are being considered, on a case-by-case basis, and the length of any suspension can vary between banks.
Additional support, for individuals facing financial difficulties, owing to the virus includes:
- Refunds on credit card and cash advance fees
- The option of applying for a temporarily increased credit card borrowing limit
- Asking for an increased cash withdrawal limit of up to £500
The measures are like those, already in place for people facing financial difficulties.
This is one of the most Googled questions since the coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak: how will Coronavirus affect house prices in the UK?
It already has a negative impact, buyers pulling out at the last minutes. House prices will go down. Landlords have been talking about the property market developing momentum, with the interest cuts we had last year, and the easing in credit conditions, things were looking bright. But Coronavirus has changed the story for 2020, completely.
Source: British Landlords Association. The British Landlords Association is a free national association, join us today!
Author: Marc Attwater
Date: 16th of March 2020