With a number of tenants suffering financial hardship due to coronavirus, Wandsworth Council is among a number of councils in the capital encouraging landlords to show greater understanding and flexibility with a view to helping tenants through this current crisis.
Cllr Kim Caddy, Wandsworth’s cabinet member for housing, is urging private landlords to take a positive approach to tenants who may be struggling through no fault of their own.
Cllr Caddy explained: “Government legislation is very clear and the court system is aligned to preventing the eviction of social and private sector tenants at this time of national emergency. The risks arising from eviction are too great for households, particularly those who may be at higher risk from coronavirus.
“These are particularly challenging times for those whose work and livelihoods have been affected by the necessary lockdown we are living through.
“Equally, many private landlords rely on the income they derive from rents to pay the bills.”
The vast majority of landlords are supporting tenants needing help during the COVID-19 pandemic, research shows.
According to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), 90% of landlords who had received a request for support from a tenant responded positively.
The help given was in the form of a rent reduction or deferral, a rent free period, early release from a tenancy or a refund on service charges included in rents for homes of multiple occupation.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of the NRLA, said: “Whilst many tenants have been able to continue paying their rents in full and on time, in accordance with government advice, we recognise the strain that many others are under at this difficult time. That is why it is good news that, as our research shows, nearly all the landlords approached for help by their tenants are responding positively.”