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Two-thirds of landlords ‘expect business to suffer negatively from Covid-19’

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·1-min read

Two-thirds of private landlords surveyed in England and Wales expect their rental business to be negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nearly a fifth (18%) of landlords surveyed think they will face a significant negative impact, the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) found.

A further 48% think the impact on their business will be slightly negative, making a total of 66% who believe there will be a negative impact on them to some degree.

The NRLA, which surveyed more than 2,000 of its members, found more than half (56%) are less confident about achieving their goals over the next year than they were three months earlier.

Concerns are affecting landlords’ investment decisions, which could potentially lead to a shrinking supply of rental homes.

One in six (16%) plan to purchase one or more properties over the next year, but 30% intend to sell one or more properties.

More than a third (35%) of landlords reported that over the previous three months they had seen an increase in demand for private rented housing, the survey carried out in September found.

The NRLA said tenants in England should be able to access interest-free hardship loans backed by the Government to cover rental arrears. Payments should then be made directly to landlords, it said.

The NRLA’s survey found that 78% of landlords supported such a scheme.

Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA said: “Whilst the vast majority of landlords have been working constructively with their tenants where they have struggled due to the pandemic, it is not sustainable to expect them or tenants to continue having rent arrears building indefinitely.

“This is highlighted in the lower levels of confidence among landlords and the impact it is having on their businesses.”