Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new 'Job Support Scheme', unveiled last week, has been welcomed by millions of workers across the country, but the initiative in its existing form fails to provide a much needed boost to help landlords facing financial hardship.
Research by YouGov for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) shows that the total rental income lost by private landlords with properties in England as a result of Covid-19 could be as high as £437m.
The study found that almost a fifth of landlords have lost up to half of their usual rental income, and that is why the government’s Winter Economy Plan must go beyond the measures announced to subsidise wages, according to David Alexander, joint managing director of Apropos.
He commented: “The chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to provide support to individual landlords in this country at a time when many of them are experiencing severe financial hardship.
“These ‘invisible’ people, who own one or two properties and rental is often their sole source of income, make up the majority of landlords in the UK and they are facing extremely difficult times.
“If these individuals are not supported then the risk is that they will exit the private rented sector in large numbers which will cause enormous problems for tenants in the coming year. Supporting this vital group within the renting sector is essential and must be addressed immediately.”
Alexander continued “Larger companies and investor groups involved in the PRS have rightly been financially supported through various government loans, schemes and grants but many smaller landlords don’t have their business structured in a way to benefit from this backing.
“Therefore, there are thousands of landlords who have been unable to access any financial support in the first six months of the pandemic and now face a further six months without any government help.”