Nearly half of private landlords reduced tenant’s rent in 2020

Common reasons why reductions and payment holidays were brought up included concerns around furlough, redundancy and job security.

Nearly half (46%) of landlords surveyed Shawbrook Bank reduced monthly rent payments for their tenants as a result of the pandemic.

As many as 28% of landlords allowed their occupants a full rent payment holiday, a period of up to three months where tenants are not required to pay any rent.

In addition, 18% offered a rent reduction, a period where tenants paid a lower level of rent as agreed with their landlord.

Landlords who gave their tenants a payment holiday say they lost £7,500 on average, compared to rent holidays which cost landlords £6,500.

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More than 33% of landlords said they proactively offered a rent reduction to their tenant, while an additional 45% said the agreement was reached mutually.

Common reasons why reductions and payment holidays were brought up included concerns around furlough, redundancy and job security.

John Eastgate, Managing Director of Property Finance at Shawbrook Bank, comments: “No amount of foresight could have prepared landlords, or tenants, for the impact of the pandemic.”

“During this incredibly difficult period, landlords acted pragmatically, recognising the additional strain their tenants were under. In fact, in many cases landlords were initiating the conversation around cutting rents to ease their financial burden,” Eastgate added.

“This period has clearly underlined the critically important role that the private rental sector is playing, and will continue to play, in the UK housing market. Responsible landlords have shown their reliability during a crisis, understanding the changing needs of their tenants and acting quickly.”

“Solid fundamentals will underpin the market going forward, landlords and investors should look to a positive future. There is a strong argument to suggest that landlords in regional locations have never been in a better position to profit, while city centres will continue to represent good value as workers head back to the office, even if it is on a part-time basis.”

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