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Nearly half of landlords financially supported tenants in past year – Nationwide

  • 25/05/2022
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Nearly half of landlords financially supported tenants in past year – Nationwide
Some 44 per cent of landlords have financially supported their tenants over the last 12 months by pausing or reducing rent.

According to a poll of 729 landlords conducted by Nationwide’s platform The Landlord Works, 22 per cent of those who helped tenants temporarily reduced rent, 15 per cent offered a rental payment holiday and four per cent permanently lowered rent. Some three per cent lent money to tenants to support daily costs. 

Overall, the poll showed 74 per cent of landlords feel obligated to help their tenants during financial difficulties. 

Respondents said they could manage to reduce rent by around £50 or 7.6 per cent to assist tenants before the reduction in income impacts their own finances. 

However, despite a willingness to reduce rent for some, 45 per cent said any cut would harm them financially. Some 38 per cent intend to keep rent at the same level for the next year, while 55 per cent say they will need to increase rent. A quarter plan to raise the rent on all of their properties. 


Landlords with small portfolios able to weather rent cuts

Landlords with smaller portfolios can afford to reduce rents by a higher amount. Of those who are able to lower rents, 47 per cent say they could sustain it for at least six months while 42 per cent can manage to do this for three to six months. 

Some 60 per cent of those fully relying on rental income can sustain a reduction in rent for at least six months, while 51 per cent of retired landlords are able to do the same. 


Concern for tenants

Some 57 per cent of landlords are ‘concerned’ as to whether their tenants can maintain rental payments while 13 per cent said they were ‘very concerned’.  

For those who let to recipients of Local Housing Allowance, this level of concern rises to 74 per cent and for those letting to retirees, 71 per cent of landlords have worries. 


Larger portfolio landlords considering rent rises 

Landlords with larger portfolios are more likely to hike up rents, the research found, with three quarters of those with 10 or more properties aiming to do so over the next year.  

In contrast, just 44 per cent of landlords with one to three properties are looking to increase rent and a further 46 per cent plan to keep rent stable. 

Landlords using their rental properties to offset their mortgages are also more likely to raise rents, with 63 per cent planning to do so compared to 44 per cent of unleveraged landlords. 

Paul Wootton (pictured), director of The Landlord Works, said: “Landlords are facing a real dilemma at the moment in dealing with the continued rising cost of living. On the one hand, there is a need to ensure they can cover the increasing costs associated with their properties and ensure they are following the market. However, as our research demonstrates, they are also acutely aware of the financial challenges facing their tenants. 

“It’s great to see such a high proportion of landlords feel a sense of responsibility towards supporting these tenants during these challenging times. And in a lot of cases, this sentiment has been met by financial support for their tenants over the last twelve months. While we will see rents rise over the coming months in many cases, we can also expect landlords to offer continued support at what is a tough time for many.” 


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